Montreal Fringe Festival Reviews Round 2
Legitimate Investment Opportunity
Have these guys got an opportunity for you! Part motivational speaker, part salesman, Pipz Tullman (Brad MacDonald) hosts a seminar for a Legitimate Investment Opportunity, perfect for all those lucky suckers out there. He promises to guide you on your journey to “success and enlightenment.” Just sign the contract to hand over all your money and eventually, you will get rich… or not. Terry and Jerry Billz (Chris Sandiford), explain the numbers: “Like a letter, but more like a number.” Dr. Jacob (Jacob Greco) overviews the health risks: “Liver failure. Liver success.” CEO of the LIO, Natas Nomed himself makes his appearance in shiny pants. But, two cops are waiting for back-up so they can bust up the organization. With a Welcome to Nightvale kind of sensibility (“Any emails will be seized.”), there’s some guffaw-worthy absurdist comedy. My sense was that the timing seemed a little off on the first night, but that this show will pick up more traction through the festival as the oily wheels get greased. RL
Sex-T Rex had me at first bang with their western Watch Out Wildcat last year. This time, they’ve got a whole new trope: fantasy realms. You probably guessed that from the title, though. À la The Princess Bride, junior is stuck home sick, and grandpa comes with dubious antiquated entertainment, a video game from the ’80s called Swordplay. Junior and grandpa work together to make their way through the worlds of Garland and Tringaard as the characters Santa and Barnabas transform from pixels to ex-knights on a quest to rescue Princess Scarlet Pimpernel. For those who love spotting pop-culture, it’ll be easy to pick out the Game of Thrones and Nintendo references, as well as many ’80s films. Sex-T Rex excels at so many things — creating memorable characters, wicked humour, unexpected plot twists that ramp the stakes up ever higher, an ability to play with expectations, fantastic fight scenes, unexpected and ingenious obstacles, creative use of puppetry. Their shows challenge the limits of the stage play. With very simple props, they create the grand special effects of cinema by asking the audience to suspend reality and play along. This one is a not miss. RL
If you don’t like Britt Dash, you have no heart. In this one woman show, the charming local storytelleress recounts the difficulty of playing well with others while letting your freak flag fly. She intersperses her tales with excerpts from her diaries written at age 11 and 15. In her very understandable desire to be liked, she has but one nemesis: her french teacher. The subject matter of the three longer stories, relationships and friendships, should be familiar to everyone. The details, though, can only belong to Britt. Whether stealing food from a free buffet or finding an Israeli boyfriend, she has a knack for transforming the ordinary into the epic. I especially admire her earthy elegance; she never comes off as a victim, never tries to be something she isn’t, and never is crass. Her sense of comedic timing, her expressive face, and her physicality make this a funny show. Her honesty and openness make it a heartfelt one. Lovely in all the right ways. RL
All three shows are playing at Theatre St. Catherine until June 21. Click HERE for the Fringe calendar and shows.
For more Fringe Festival reviews here are our reviews Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4 part a, and Round 4 part b.