Fringe Festival Reviews 8

Fringe Park warning. Photo Rachel LEvine Fringe Park. Photo Rachel LEvine

Wasteland

This troupe put up an awesome show, with some amazing talented actors and fantastically hilarious narrative.

Wasteland is a post-apocalyptic story where everything as we have known it, is turning to dust. All (well mostly all) humans are mutating and barring a notional ‘Graceland’ that is guided by music on the radio, there is little that calls out ‘hope’. Wasteland is controlled by the ‘Compound’ where Marshall (played proficiently by Seann Murray) and his fictional boss rules. Ernest the janitor turned renegade (Conor Bradbury) rebels against Marshall and with his dog in tow escapes to find Graceland. The treacherous journey means, mutants, Marshall and his men at his heels and the inhospitable terrain that is Wasteland.

Ernest is joined by a stellar performance by Kaitlin Morrow (as the dog, but called “Boy”), whose theatrics left me in splits every single time. Julian Frid plays Marshall’s trusted lieutenant (loved his histrionics with ‘guts for Dave’) and also the crazy scientist Professor Marshall, who thinks he will save the planet with “banter”. Josef Addelman plays King with grit and equal humor.

With a half broken radio that is Ernest’s guide to Graceland and a potent tool to kill mutating humans (they can only be killed by music), what happens to Ernest and his search for Graceland is like a hysterical sequel to Mad Max.

Does Boy survive both the post-apocalyptic world and being a figment of Ernest’s imagination and does Marshall’s iron grip over Wasteland remain unchallenged? This was one of my favorite forays at Fringe this year.

PS: I looooove dogs, but not sure if ‘unintentionally’ the ONLY female actor was cast in the role!!

Wasteland is at Theatre St. Catherine (264 St. Catherine E). June 18 @ 19:15, June 18 @ 15:30, and June 19 @ 14:00. Tickets HERE.

 

Looking to Upgrade

Lisa Pedace, a standup comic from California brings with her the solemn and trepidatious realities of growing old. From getting dressed to go out, to sagging breasts and fluffy public hair, from invisibility by all men, who apparently have something called a YoungPN (won’t say it, Google it), this is a heartfelt, sometimes frustrated, sometimes tragically true and just mostly genuine humor, Lisa doesn’t seem to be ecstatic about growing old.

She wonders why are we here? What happens when we die? Is it safe to hand wash cashmere? And actually calls God in heaven with all those questions. The answers are sent to her, not through an automated answering machine, and in the end helps her (and us) realize that the only way to deal with life (and in this case aging) is to just make the best and be happy to be alive.

Lisa has some cool cabaret numbers and some good laughs.

Looking to Upgrade is at the Montreal Improv Theatre (3697 Saint-Laurent). June 17 @ 20:45. Tickets HERE.

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