Edmonton International Fringe Festival 2017: My Reviews Are In

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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.

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‘9 Parts of Desire’ Theatre Preview for Vue Weekly

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I wrote in Vue Weekly this week about The Maggie Tree theatre company’s production of 9 Parts of Desire.

The original one-woman play, 9 Parts of Desire, isn’t meant to explain things simply. Written and performed by award-winning Iraqi-American Heather Raffo, it’s that depth which caught the attention of Edmonton’s The Maggie Tree theatre company.

The Maggie Tree co-executive director and director for the production, Vanessa Sabourin, looks forward to bringing the project to the Varscona Theatre.

“Something that we have always enjoyed with Maggie Tree is getting people to gather, and also putting forward big questions,” Sabourin says. Read more

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to interact with The Maggie Tree, but talking to Sabourin about their brand of theatre got me excited all over again. At the Varscona Theatre, 9 Parts of Desire opens tonight and runs through April 15.

‘Soliciting Temptation’ Theatre Preview for Vue Weekly

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Here’s a preview I wrote for Vue Weekly about an exciting looking play called Soliciting Temptation opening at the Varscona Theatre tonight.

Soliciting Temptation tackles the social complexities of sex tourism from the inside of one nondescript hotel room set in an exotic country. And that hotel room shuttled from Calgary to Edmonton this week for a new crowd to see. Read more

The Jason Mehmel-directed play is coproduced by Calgary’s Sage Theatre and Edmonton’s Shadow Theatre, starring Patricia Cerra and Mattie Overall. The 90-minute, two-person performance opens at 7:30pm tonight and runs until Mar. 26.

Sister Sister Theatre Review For Vue Weekly in November

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This review is for one of my all-time favourite pieces of modern theatre. I critiqued Northern Light Theatre’s Sister Sister for Vue Weekly back in November.

When it comes to Northern Light Theatre’s mandate of dark and provocative productions that challenge audiences, Sister Sister delivers and satisfies.

Playwright Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich’s script about two sisters’ reconnection after 15 years sets a grim theme, as the women come together to celebrate their deranged mother’s death. Read more

The two-woman performance from Louise Claire Lambert and Arielle Rombough was intense, and I’m glad I got to share my opinion with the community.

Wildfire Teen Improv Festival Preview for Vue Weekly

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I missed this preview going live on Vue Weekly earlier in the month, but the Wildfire Teen Improv is still ongoing. The junior high division finals of the competitive festival are on Saturday with additional performances tonight and tomorrow.

“Wildfire Teen Improv Festival is very strange,” says 17-year-old Darby Gynane.

She’s heading into her fourth run at the festival alongside her teammates from Louis St. Laurent. The improv competition, running from Feb. 7 to 25 at the Citadel’s Ziedler Hall, pits teams of junior and senior high students from across Edmonton and Alberta against each other to see who’s the most spontaneously entertaining.

“You see people who are creating art in front of your eyes that they’re never going to do again and you’re never going to see again,” Gynane says. “It’s very much an in the moment kind of thing.” Read more

Rapid Fire Theatre is an absolute force in Western Canada, and their festival that develops youth is no exception. You can get tickets for the last three shows of the festival through Eventbrite. Each performance starts at 7pm in the Citadel’s Ziedler Hall.

Footloose Review: A Triumphant Farewell at The John L. Haar Theatre

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Wrapped in a charged presentation of a musical theatre classic, Footloose, is the history of decades of MacEwan University theatre arts.

And while each performer’s voice may not hold a weighty, well-produced presence, the energy of their performance culminates in another triumphant night for the final season at the John L. Haar Theatre.

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Henry V: Vue Weekly Theatre Review

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Here’s part of my review for Grindstone Theatre and The Malachites Henry V which appeared on Vue Weekly yesterday.

‘All things are ready, if our minds be so,’ but fighting the nature of our own ears isn’t always an achievable task.

The elegance of the space inside Holy Trinity Anglican Church certainly lends itself to champion the spirit of Shakespeare in a modern time, but the effects of that grand mission statement are lost when I can’t hear what the players are saying. Read more

The joint production between Edmonton’s Grindstone Theatre and London, England’s The Malachites is directed by Benjamin Blyth. Brynn Linsey’s performance and King Henry V marks a Canadian first, and you can try to listen to her great performance at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church. The play runs tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm.