Montréal St. Ambroise Fringe Festival Fringe For All Recap

Montreal Fringe For All. Photo Rachel Levine Montreal Fringe For All. Photo Rachel Levine

And so it begins. The Fringe. The tears, the laughter. Mostly the laughter. Also, the chaos. If the daily roster of shows doesn’t exhaust you, the 13th hour, Fringe After Dark, and the events of the Fringe Park should make a dent.

Working crystal balls are hard to come by, but the Fringe For all gives a three minute glimpse into the future. While the out-of-towners get their chance to charm on June 7th, here is a list of the shows from those that presented at the Fringe For All that are worth penciling in. There were plenty more than are on this list!

The Think Pieces

While the Fringe is often about zany fun, it’s also an opportunity to showcase serious drama.

Cherry Docs by Beige Theatre Company

Cherry Docs. Beige Theatre Co. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Cherry Docs. Beige Theatre Co. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

When a Jewish lawyer is called in a skinhead who has kicked his victim 39 times with steel-toed Doc Martins in a racially motivated crime, cultures clash. These two actors not only impressed with their acting chops, but gave a gripping snippet of a timely show that addresses where liberal tolerance starts to fray. At Impro Montreal Theatre (3697 ST Laurent) on June 8 (18:00), 10 (23:15), 11 (20:45), 13 (20:30), 17 (14:00), and 18 (21:00).

Docile Bodies by Wig in a Box

Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Wig in a Box. Docile Bodies. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Soldiers tell monologues about their lives as they are molded into their identities by powers beyond their control. This piece studies Foucault’s essay Discipline and Punish through movement and acting, and adds gender to the mix. At the MAI on June 9 (midnight), 11 (18:30), 13 (midnight), 14 (21:45), 15 (19:00), and 17 (17:15),

Brown, Feminist, Proud

A number of shows are focused on the complex experiences of visible minority groups.

tldr;smh by Nightshade Ensemble

tldr;smh. Nightshade Ensemble. Fringe for All 2017. Montreal Fringe. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levinetldr;smh. Nightshade Ensemble. Fringe for All 2017. Montreal Fringe. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

From Rojava (which is part of Syria — I had to look it up), Kurdish Lady Jiyan is a magnet on stage with her sinuous moves as she seems to delight in removing her headscarf. Is she celebrating culture or giving a poetic middle finger to symbols of oppression. This is strong, feminist, and hypnotizing. At Studio Jean Valcourt du Conservatoire (4750 Henri Julien) on June 10 (20:45), 11 (17:!5), 15 (18:00), 16 (21:00), 17 (18:00), and 18 (17:00).

Love Painted Brown by angrybrowngirl productions

Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel LevineLove Painted Brown. angryborwngirl productions. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Shanti Gonzales is born into a family that normalizes the eating of naan burritos at Kwanza. Her mother is Indian (south east Asian Indian), her dad is Mexican, and she says her grandmother married into a black family. I’m not sure who in her family she can thank for her talent as a comedienne and a dancer, but she seems to have both in quantity. At Impro Montral (3173 ST Laurent) on June 8 (21:30), 9 (23:45), 11 (16:15), 12 (21:30), 14 (20:00), 17 (15:00), and 18 (20:45). 

Pluck’d by Bald Angry Asian Productions

A proud Chinese dad loves and babies his little turkey. Such life hopes! Such dreams! Such expectations. No wonder the little turkey discovers the magic of spliffs and proud Chinese dad melts down. At the MainLine Theatre (3997 St. Laurent) on June 8 (21:45), 10 (18:45), 13 (20:00), 15 (23:30), 16 (14:45), and 17 (19:00)

Paani by BlowFish Theatre

 

Panni. Blowfish Theatre. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Paani. BlowFish Theatre. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Two giant heads came on stage, and from them came a four part performance that fugued into a recitation, a song, and a dance around the theme of anti-Muslim Islamophobia. At Studio Multimédia du Conservatoire (4750 Henri Julien) on June 8 (18:00), 11 (13:15), 12 (19:00), 14 (18:00), 17 (13:00), and 18 (21:15).

The Godfather and the Nonna

Italian humor. Yes. Lots of it. There are shows with the Italian clown tradition of Commedia Dell’Arte as well as looks at those big Italian families. Mamma Mia!

Cul de Sac by Bouffon de Bellefeuille

Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Cul de Sac. Bouffon de Bellefeuille. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

This was just the most fun, colorful bit of crazy choreography of dance gone wrong I’ve seen in awhile .I laughed so hard from their faces and antics. The premise is that a band of buffons are living in the tunnels of the Montreal metro and then venture into the world seeking integration and survival. This piece promises to show that physical comedy is the king of comedy. At Studio Multimédia du Conservatoire (4750 Henri Julien) on June 9 (19:00), 10 (12:45), 11 (21:45), 15 (16:30), 16 (21:45), and 18 (16:30). 

Leave the Therapy, Take the Cannoli by Luigi Buffone

Leave the Therapy, Take the Cannoli. Montreal Fringe Festival. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Leave the Therapy, Take the Cannoli. Montreal Fringe Festival. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

They gave out cannolis. Good ones. I think there was a screaming nonna and some masculine posturing as this Italian family tries on therapy for the first time. They gave me a cannoli. At Mission Santa Cruz (60 Rachel W) on June 5 (21:45), 13 (19:45), 15 (21:30), 16 (18:00), 17 (21:30), and 18 (15:45).

Nonna’s Story

Antonio Bavaro in Nonna's Story. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Antonio Bavaro in Nonna’s Story. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

No cannolis, but Antonio Bavaro is doing a show about his Italian family. He transformed into a nonna so real on stage, I swear on my mudder’s grave I was in Sicily. She can sing too! At the MAI (3680 Jeanne Mance) on June 8 (21:00), 11 (15:30), 13 (22:45), 15 (22:15), 17 (19:00), and 18 (14:45).

I Saw What on Stage?

The Fringe never says no. At least I don’t think they do. Here are shows that are guaranteed to show you something on stage you’ve probably never seen before

Illustrated Lady by Sophie Post Croteau

Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Sophie Post Croteau. Illustrated Lady. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Sophie Post Croteau looks like anyone else in her cardigan and pants. But when the clothes come off, she has a collection of tattoos that put her in the uncomfortable position of having to explain, justify, and discuss her body. Croteau promised to take an audience drawing at each show and tattoo the image on herself. Her one request — no penis drawings, please. At Pompette (4128 St. Laurent) on June 2 (23:00), 3 (21:00), 9 (19:00), 10 (21:00), 16 (23:00), 17 (19:00), and 18 (noon).

Moi : Le Zoo by Pleurer dans Douche

Moi Le Zoo. Cafe Campus. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Photo Rachel Levine

Moi Le Zoo. Cafe Campus. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Photo Rachel Levine

I didn’t believe it when I heard it, but 50 performers will compete to interpret the animal of their choice for a prize of $1000. That’s a pretty serious chunk of change to give out. At La Chapelle (3700 St. Dominique) on June 8 (20:30), 10 (18:15), 11 (19:15), 15 (16:15), 16 (18:30), and 17 (22:30). 

Femme Fatale by Vielle Fille

Femme Fatale by Vielle Fille

Femme Fatale by Vielle Fille

She came. She stood in giant heels. She strutted. She kicked off her heels. Then she proceeded to whip her hair around at high speed. At Studio Multimédia du Conservatoire (4750 Henri Julien) on June 8 (22:00), 10 (19:00), 11 (17:30), 14 (22:00), 16 (20:30), 18 (15:15). 

 

Fringe Noir

Police and detective comedies are all over the Fringe this year.

The Detective, The Dame, and the Devil by Vertical Heart Productions

Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

The Dectective. The Dame. and the Devil. Vertical Heart. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

With a femme fatale, a private eye, and a German accented devil who can shake his ass, this one looks so hot you could fry an egg on it. At La Chapelle (3700 St. Dominique) on June 8 (22:00), 9 (17:30), 11 (20:45), 14 (22:00), 16 (20:00), and 17 (17:15)

Precinct: An Improvised Cop Story by Little Toe Entertainment

Precinct An Improvised Cop Story. Montreal Fringe Festival. Photo Rachel Levine

Precinct An Improvised Cop Story. Montreal Fringe Festival. Photo Rachel Levine

All those super amazing talents that run Montreal Improv in a show that isn’t an incarnation of Law & Order, Hill Street Blues, or Reno 911. They took Al Lafrance hostage. At Montreal Improv (3713 St Laurent) on June 8 (23:15), 10 (20:00), 11 (14:30), 14 (23:15), 16 (18:15), 17 (21:45), and 18 (15:45).

Thrill of the Chaise by Chocolate Moose Theatre Company

Thrill of the Chaise by Chocolate Moose Theatre Company

Thrill of the Chaise by Chocolate Moose Theatre Company. Montreal Fringe Festival. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

After intrigue and James Bond theme music, chairs had sex on stage. They also hinted that this might be the show of the Fringe by telling us, “Your ticket pays for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge of it.” Feel the sizzle! Oooh. This one’s gonna be great. At Theatre MainLine (3997 ST Laurent) on June 9 (19:00), 11 (midnight), 15 (19:15), 16 (13:30), 17 (midnight), 18 (22:00).

It Wouldn’t Be the Fringe Without You

Memento Mori: A Support Group for the Dead by Kaleidoscope Theatre

Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Trevor Barrette. Memento Mori. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

After two years of epic Captain Aurora musicals, the production company that thinks big is going a little bit Adams family with its latest piece about the afterlife. A support group for the dead offers free coffee, tea, and baked goods as people share their life (and afterlife). The audience got to participate as Trevor Barrette led a group readings for a service for the recently deceased, a great into to an immersive theatre piece. In Espace Freestanding Room (4324 St Laurent #300) on June 1 (21:00), 2 (23:00), 3 (17:00 and 21:00), 8 (21:00), 9 (23:00), 10 (17:00 and 21:00), 15 (21:00), 16 (23:00), 17 (17:00 and 21:00). 

 

Things Drugs Taught Me by Yarn Productions

Things Drugs Taught Me. Jeff Gandell and Nisha COleman. Cafe Campus. Montreal Fringe Festival. Photo Rachel Levine.

Things Drugs Taught Me. Jeff Gandell and Nisha COleman. Cafe Campus. Montreal Fringe Festival. Photo Rachel Levine.

Nisha Coleman. Jeff Gandell. I’d pay money to see one of these two talented people solo. Now it’s two for the price of one, plus I can see them together as they tell stories of popping, sniffing, snorting, ingesting, smoking, drinking, and whatever method is required to get to an altered state. At Mission Santa Cruz (60 Rachel W) on June 8 (19:30), 13 (18:00), 14 (21:45), 16 (19:30), 17 (23:00), and 18 (19:00).

Peter Pansexual by Glam Gam Productions

Peter Pansexual. Glam Gam Production. Montreal Fringe Festival. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine.

Peter Pansexual. Glam Gam Production. Montreal Fringe Festival. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine.

Get your kink on or out with these racy, sexy shows. Wendy and the Darling brothers heading to a nouveau Neverland, Montreal, where they encounter Captain Hooker and Peter Pansexual. Full frontal promised. At Café Cléopâtre May 31 (21:00), June 1 (21:00), 3 (20:00), 5 (20:00), 8 (21:00), 9 (22:00), 10 (19:00), 10 (23:00), 14 (19:00), 15 (19:00), and 16 (22:00).

Family Friendly

The Fringe isn’t just for adults. These shows are all ages.

The Monkey King Gets His Staff by JingJu Canada

Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

The Monkey King Gets his Staff. JingJu Canada. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

The Journey to the West is one of the most beloved epics of China. Though less familiar to those of us in the West, episodes from this popular story are often adapted. In this show, we meet the Monkey King who is a great fighter, but does not have an adequate weapon as he heads to the palace of the Dragon king. This was a fiery spectacle of stick twirling and acrobatics. At La Chapelle (3700 ST Dominique) on June 9 (7:15), June 10 (9:45), 11 (5:15), 13 (7:45), 16 (9:45) and 18 (1:15).

b3: Syl-lo-g0-ma-ni-e/a by Possiblement Théâtre

b3: Syl-lo-g0-ma-ni-e/a by Possiblement Théâtre

b3: Syl-lo-g0-ma-ni-e/a by Possiblement Théâtre. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Photo Rachel Levine

Everyone’s favorite red nosed Fringe clowns are back  — boKa and Mazy. This time there’s a problem with hoarding (which is what syllogomania is), specifically stuffed animals? This clown is like a lovable Mr. Bean with none of the malice and all of the childlike wonder. At Salle Jean Claude Germain du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui (3900 St. Denis) on June 9 (20:45), 10 (18:00), 11 (14:00), 14 (18:15), 17 (21:00), and 18 (13:00). 

The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Punch and Judy by Tenon Mortaise

Punch and Judy by Tenon MOrtaise. Montreal Fringe Festival. Photo Rachel Levine

Punch and Judy by Tenon Mortaise. Montreal Fringe Festival. Photo Rachel Levine

They say kids’ cartoons are violent. I can’t watch them anymore. But apparently, I love watching puppets beat the crap out of each other. We got to see the Punch puppet give it to a Devil puppet. It was so cool. At Salle Jean Claude Germain du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui (3900 St. Denis) on June 10 (19:45), 11 (12:30), 12 (21:15), 14 (23:15), 16 (19:30), and 17 (18:00). 

The Montreal Fringe Festival is on now and ends with the Frankies on June 18. Check it out at www.montrealfringe.ca. Most tickets are $12 or less, some events are free or reduced. 

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Rachel Levine is the big cheese around here. Contact: Website | More Posts