To Be Moved/Blarney Productions
I reviewed 15 shows at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival for Vue Weekly‘s EdmontonFringe.ca this weekend. Here they all are in one place, ordered from fav to least.
To Be Moved — 5 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
Blarney Productions’ To Be Moved is an absolute must-see work at the Edmonton Fringe. Directed by Braydon Dowler-Coltman, it debuts as a production achievement on every single level—delivering a riveting experience that is impossible to look away from.
Gruesome Playground Injuries — 4 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
… Any audience can empathize with the glimpses we get of their world, at least in part—but Evan Hall and Merran Carr-Wiggin’s display of their characters’ conflicts was like a toiling wrench of my gut. Their prowess as artists deserves props for this execution.
The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine — 4 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
Ernest and Ernestine work through micro-aggressions over trifles like where the best place to put the shared tissue box is, or the correct orientation of a centrefold bust on their dining table. It’s a great exploration of a believable day-to-day relationship between a romantic couple, and it would never succeed on stage if it weren’t for the emotional buy in that is displayed by both actors.
One Turtle, Two Turtle, Three Turtle, Dead. — 4.5 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
With precisely hesitant physicality and intentioned blocking, Caitlin Goruk’s one-woman play thrusts her audience into the awkward throes of a high school cafeteria.
A Quiet Place — 4.5 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
Blarney Productions’ remount of Brendan Gall’s play A Quiet Place isn’t one to miss. Just be ready for some mental gymnastics. The play is a meticulously paced exploration of two men trapped in a five-square-metre room with no doors. It’s peppered with levity, but it’s also dominated by pensive moments that linger in the minds of the audience as well as its two characters.
I Had Sex Until My Heart Stopped — 4 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
Cameron Macleod’s comedy routine in I Had Sex Until My Heart Stopped gets dark, but never unfunny. Based on events he recounts from his past, Macleod darts around his life story, regaling tales of the numerous drugs he’s consumed—that includes those of the party variety and those of the life-saving hospital visit flavour, as well.
With Glowing Hearts-A Canadian Burlesque Revue — 4 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
The women at Send in the Girls Burlesque have done it again. With Glowing Hearts: A Canadian Burlesque Revue delivers an empowering romp through Canadian history, and it’s a damn good introduction to burlesque too.
Absolute Magic — 4 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
Keith H. Brown’s routine in Absolute Magic goes well beyond clever card tricks and slight-of-hand mastery to deliver one of the most charismatic and air-tight shows I’ve ever seen. His stellar act begins even before he’s stepped on the stage and he maintains a steady ebb of wonderment until you leave.
Hip. Bang! Improv — 3 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
Devin Mackenzie and Tom Hill try to make you laugh along the way and they’ll probably succeed thanks to the bond they clearly share as friends—welcoming the rest of the audience into their game.
“Get Me the F#uck Out of Edmonton!” — 4 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
Wes Borg’s legacy as a fringe performer is well-documented. But, that doesn’t mean you have to remember his Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie comedy troupe to enjoy the show.
Breakneck Julius Caesar — 4 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
What Tim Mooney does with Breakneck Julius Caesar is an excellent fit for the fringe. Theatre wouldn’t be what it is without the work of William Shakespeare, but most of The Bard’s scripts are a little too unwieldy for a short-form festival. That’s what makes Mooney’s adaptation of Julius Caesar so great. He tells the brunt of the story within an hour, in a one-man display of dramatic prowess.
PowerCub Presents the Farce Awakens: An Improvised Star Wars Adventure — 3.5 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
As you can imagine, the Star Wars universe is expansive, giving PowerCub plenty to work with in their made-up comedy. The duo also shows off an expected familiarity with the source material as they generate off-book ideas. They both play off each other well, leaving surprisingly little space during moments that weaker improviser might let wither into conversational dead ends.
The Art of Magic — 3 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
Camilo the Magician’s magic routine contains a lot of familiar tricks, and almost all of them are card-based. That’s not necessarily a bad thing on its own. Every one of his tricks are well-rehearsed, but the self-described “close-up” magic that he performs using a document projector is comprised of slight-of-hand demonstrations that would be much better suited to a street performance than a fringe show
You Fucking Earned It! — 1.5 Stars [Tickets] [Review]
You Fucking Earned It is a self-described satirical takedown of Western economic imperialism, but without much of substance to say, it’s neither funny or smart enough to merit a recommendation. That’s unfortunate, because both Sabrina Wenske and Cara McClendon have a strong command of dramatic theory, and their physicality is enough to drag a smattering of laughs out of the crowd.
Magic to the Future — 1 Star [Tickets] [Review]
Of the eight different professional magic routines I’ve seen this summer, Magic to the Future is the worst. Tim the Magician attempts to frame his show within a goofy time travel narrative featuring AI voice assistants, autonomous toy robots, and a Shake Weight. That’s not a terrible idea, but his storytelling execution falls well below the expected bar of a fringe production.