Montreal Fringe Festival Reviews # 7: Crime After Crime (After Crime), Is that How Clowns Have Sex, SCUM FM
Crime After Crime (After Crime)
In three inter-related stories set in 1952, 1972, and 1992, the crime genre gets the Sex-T-Rex treatment. In the 1950s, we meet Nick Beige, a colour-blind private eye who is tempted into a case involving beautiful twin sisters and a diamond. In 1972, a four man heist outfoxes Crime City’s mayor and his corrupt crime bosses. In 1992, Order and Law, the buddy cop team with no regard for human rights, restores the city to a state of relative law and order after the suspension of the police force. Sex-T-Rex delivers this piece with their usual high energy and self-aware humour. No moment is wasted on stage and the character types, while easily recognizable, are made even better through parody. But what sets a Sex-T-Rex show apart from all others, and what makes this troupe in particular very beloved is their distinct style. With minimal props (a coat rack with their costumes), they make everything feel epic. They translate typical cinematic action scenes to the stage through dance, pantomime, and puppetry. There’s a heart thumping car chase complete with motorcycles, a bomb explosion, and a two vs. twenty fist fight. We’re lucky to get this one as a premiere and you should run to get your tickets before the shows sell out.
Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One Woman, Queer Clown Sex-Ed Show
Can I safely review the show of someone who also writes for Montreal Rampage? Why not? Fiona Ross brings us memorable clown and Sexpert, Ms. Beatrice Haven, whose infectious charisma is hard to resist. The audience members are each asked to give Ms. Bea a question that gets placed into a stuffed vulva (complete with clitoris and hood), a number of which are answered after a puppeted-tour of the current sad state of Sex Education today. With a big smile and some great pantomime, Bea responds to the questions. Ross must have been prepared for a number of them, because it seems like the props she has are intended for specific questions — such as the tool kit for choosing a sex toy. Among my favourite bits is the burning of the Victorian-standard that penetrative sex is the only form of acceptable sex. Bea is great in her inclusiveness and openness. In the final ten minutes, Ross, a legit sex-educator, answers as many questions as she can. If you have a question, or just want to see some answered, this is the best way to learn.
From the basement of a porn cinema (a place probably not entirely unlike the cinema L’Amour up the street), Al Butcher is a pirate radio host with the critical aplomb of Lester Bangs and a personality reminiscent of Howard Stern and Bob Fass. In between acid rock and deep thoughts, Al “The Butcher” swills whiskey, pranks the local Greek establishment as Mr. Jim Shorts, and espouses stories about advising Iggy and the Stooges to add a little piano. In particular, he has a hate-on for his arch-rivals, mainstream best rock station 105.5 with its trio of market-friendly personalities. Butcher sets his sights on having his listeners troll their next giveaway, only to discover they’re giving away something he wants. Butcher is a good character and in the deft hands of James McGee, remains entertaining from start to finish without ever being redundant. Why don’t we have more Al Butchers on the radio anymore?
Crime After Crime (After Crime), Is that How Clowns Have Sex?, and SCUM FM continue through June 17 all at the Mainline Theatre (3997 St Laurent) as part of the St. Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival. Find out all shows and info at montrealfringe.ca. Montreal Rampage coverage of the Fringe Festival includes reviews of Greasy, Dance Side of the Moon, Buyer and Cellar, Lucky, Don’t Read the Comments, and Rootless Tree.