Tag Archives: fringe

Vancouver Fringe Reviews: Die Roten Punkte – Kunst Rock

We tried to see Freud vs His Ego at the Fringe today, but when we got to Granville Island there was a huge lineup for tickets. We knew it was going to be close but thought our chances were good considering there were dozens of people behind us in line. Unfortunately, I was the first person in line who didn’t get a ticket. Luckily, we had a great backup plan and managed to get tickets to Die Roten Punkte – Kunst Rock.

Die Roten Punkte – Kunst Rock – We saw the faux-German, White Stripe imitation rockers when they were in Vancouver for their first Fringe tour a few years ago. Kunst Rock is their third Fringe show, and I think they’ve now perfected their craft. The songs were catchy, the jokes were funny, and their lampooning of art rock bands was perfect. I almost died laughing when they stopped the show to mock a poor women who tried sneaking out with 15 minutes left. After a number of sellouts, they’re performing an extra charity show on Sunday at 3:50.****

Vancouver Fringe Reviews: Limbo, Antoine Feval, and Heptademic Redux

3 more quick reviews to add to my previous Vancouver Fringe Reviews.

Heptademic Redux: An interesting drama about 7 strangers stuck in a room during an epidemic. Well acted with many dramatic and funny moments, and a thought-provoking plot. You’ll want to arrive early as the 2nd row of seats have a sub-optimal view of the stage. **** (4 stars)

Antoine Feval: A comedic monologue about a bumbling assistant to a shifty detective. Chris Gibbs is a genuinely funny guy and a really energetic actor. Often Gibbs would leave character to talk to the audience, which lead to some of the funniest moments but also took some of the focus from the main show. Many people sitting around us were raving about the show afterwards, but I didn’t find myself laughing out loud for all of the jokes. Overally, a good show, but it lost its flow sometimes. *** (3 stars)

Limbo Andrew Bailey is back and as funny as ever. This is the 2nd time I’ve seen him perform. We saw him in Putz in 2008. (He’s also a member of Atomic Vaudeville, creators of Legoland – the best Fringe show I’ve ever seen. Although I was mistaken in thinking Andrew starred in it – see comments below). Limbo is a monologue about neurotic complexes, self-doubt, and the meaning of life. Andrew has great comedic timing and had me constantly laughing from the beginning of the play until the end. ***** (5 stars)

Vancouver Fringe Reviews: Dr. Horrible, Shadows in Bloom, and Wanderlust

I’m so excited that the Vancouver Fringe Festival is back. I’ve seen 3 shows so far, and have a bunch more on my wishlist.

Dr. Horrible – Sing Along Blog: Joss Whedon’s cult musical brought to the stage. I didn’t think Fringe actors could live up to Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion, but I was pleasantly surprised. The actors who played Dr. Horrible and Penny both had great voices, and the 2 bonus songs (not available online) had me cracking up. They did a great job turning the Internet sensation into a great stage show. **** (4 stars)

Shadows in Bloom: Gemma Wilcox does a great job convincing the audience that there are dozens of actors on stage, effortlessly shifting between the characters. I didn’t see Gemma’s play last year, but one of my friends thought it was better then this year’s edition. Overall, the play was a partly dramatic, partly comedic, but nothing spectacular. *** (3 stars)

Wanderlust: An early favourite for Pick of the Fringe. Martin Dockery tells a bunch of hilarious stories from his trip backpacking through West Africa. There were a number of dramatic moments, but this was mostly a humorous story. One of the funniest fringe shows I’ve ever seen. Don’t miss this one! ***** (5 stars)

Next up on my list are:
Raccoonery (Friday 7pm)
Limbo (Friday 9pm)
Freud vs His Ego (Saturday 3:30)

and if I can squeeze them in:
Peter ‘n’ Chris Save the World
Die Roten Punkte

Mr. Gordon (he was my high school calculus teacher and is a Fringe fanatic) has recommended:
Antoine Feval – I think we might watch this instead of Raccoonery.

More Vancouver Fringe Festival Reviews

More Fringe reviews.

Barry Smith’s Baby Book (***)
Barry Smith is funny – so funny he can make a slide show of baby pictures and scanned pages from his baby book amusing. After seeing American Squatter last year (his slide show of pictures from his college years), the format seemed a bit stale though.

Totem Figures (***)
This was my first introduction to TJ Dawe – a local fringe mainstay. His monologue about fictional and real characters that shaped his life (Frodo Baggins, Luke Skywalker, George Carlin, and more) seemed more like a psychology paper then a play. However, it was amusing and at times thought provoking. There was also a lot of interesting insight into the life of a Fringe performer and how gruelling the summer circuit can be.

Mr. Fox (****)
A hilarious play starring Greg Landucci (from last year’s hit DishPig, which I regrettably never saw) and directed by the aforementioned TJ Dawe. The story is about Greg’s job as the mascot for a Vancouver radio station. The show had everything – ridiculous stories, some local humour, and high energy that kept you entertained throughout.

The Spy (****)
The only non-auto-biographical play I’ve seen this year – unless of course Jonno Katz really was an orphan who became a spy with MI6. The show was directed by Mark Chavez from the Pajama Men, and his style was evident. There was a lot physical mimery that allowed a single man without any props tell a complicated story. Katz also interacted a lot with the audience, which is always fun to see. Some of the funniest moments were the unscripted ones where he prompted the audience to help him with pieces of the story.

Fringe Festival: Putz (****)

The Vancouver Fringe Festival has started! I’m really looking forward to seeing some wicked shows this year.

Tonight we saw Putz – a one-man comedy about a neurotic, hapless man who feels awkward around women. It was hilarious. It’s done by Andrew Bailey, a member of Atomic Vaudeville. Atomic Vaudeville put on Legoland – the best Fringe show I have ever seen.

Some of the Fringe shows we’re looking to see in the next two weeks:
– Barry Smith’s Baby Book
– Boom
– Mr. Fox
– Sev
– The Sputniks
– The Spy
– Totem Figures

Vancouver Fringe 07 – Utterly Perverted & Slightly Disappointing

The Vancouver Fringe wrapped up last weekend. Despite a late fringing start, I managed to see 9 shows. Overall I was disappointed with the Fringe this year. The crowds were pretty pitiful (poor advertising?) and none of the shows knocked my socks off (like Legoland last year). But most of the shows were interesting, and I definitely got a year’s dosage of randomness.

Jem Rolls Up (**) – I wasn’t impressed with the Scottish performance poetry. I got to see Brendan McLeod and Barbara Adler on Saturday night (from The Fugitives), and they’re much better.
Miss April Day’s School for Burgeoning Young Strippers (****) – When “audience participation” equals “lap-dance”, you can’t go wrong.
LOUNGE-ZILLA! (****) – Gay cabaret at its raunchiest.
The Absurdyssey (****) – Very cool circus like performance. Dragged on a bit at times.
Napoleon’s Secret Diary (****) – Funny stuff.
American Squatter (***) – A funny slideshow of a comedians youth, but not much more.
Deep Fried Curried Perogies (*****) – My favourite show. Typical Canadian immigrant humour, but well acted and at times hilarious.
Uber Alice (**) – Weird. Random. Slightly funny. Not sure how this was Pick of the Fringe.
Die Roten Punkte (***) – Pretty funny stuff. Did a good job of interacting and improving with the audience.

I also saw Timon of Athens at Bard on the Beach last weekend with Emily. As far as modern adaptations of Shakespeare go, this one was pretty good. I’ll check out Bard on the Beach again next year – supposedly they sold out every show this year.

Vancouver Fringe: Weekend Shows

I managed to jam 5 plays in on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not sure why I’m posting reviews, since the Fringe is over now, but there’s still Pick of the Fringe this weekend, and some of the plays we saw are showing again.

Unbreakable Popsicle Gang(**)
I really wasn’t impressed with this play. It was a one-man show about family bonds and dealing with death. There were some funny bits and some sentimental moments, but it lacked punch. I think it was geared at a different audience.

We showed up early and managed to snag tickets to this Pick of the Fringe that was sold out when we came on Thursday. It was a pretty impressive performance, that reminded me a lot of the Blue Man Group. A fusion of acting, music, dance, and a healthy dose of reluctant audience participation. Many of the pieces were designed to make you think while entertaining you. My favourite was when they came out dressed in Haz-Mat outfits and grabbed two audience members and conducted an awkward date experiment. My only complaint is some pieces really dragged on.

Sex, Lies, and Nursery Rhymes(****)
Delightfully naughty. A burlesque show with all your favourite nursery rhyme characters, but not how you may have remembered them. It was funny, sexy, and throughly entertaining. There wasn’t much of a plot, and some of the jokes were flat, but they had hot girls dancing and spinning nipple tassels and a really cute Miss Muffit in pigtails being seduced by a spider. What more could you want?

Another Pick of the Fringe and probably the best play overall. We saw 3 of the 4 Pick of the Fringes, and this one stood out amongst the all-stars. Complete with a clever plot, quirky characters, and non-stop action. The jokes were original, witty, and came at such a dizzying pace that I barely stopped laughing for the entire play. If you’re in Vancouver this weekend and you haven’t seen it, then go see it. You’re life will be incomplete if you don’t. I don’t want to say too much to spoil the story, but it focuses on the adventures of two quirky teens who grow up in a hippy community in Saskatchewan, go to boarding school, and then travel through the US.

The Excursionists(***)
Emily really liked this one, but I wasn’t too impressed. The two actors were funny and took us on an underwater journey around the world after Britain sinks. British accents are amusing in themselves, but there wasn’t too much more there for me. Maybe it was because it was way passed my bedtime when we saw it. Or maybe it was because it was immediately following Legoland, and it couldn’t possibly compare.