Six Vancouver Fringe Festival picks

Cameron Brown cast Minsky Rosebuds

Minsky’s Rosebuds in Gypsy Rose Lee at Minsky’s Burlesque, part of this year’s Fringe Festival. Photo credit: Cameron Brown.

Feeling overwhelmed by the more than 80 productions at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival? Fear not, true believers!

We were hard at work over the weekend (and opening night, Sept. 5) seeing some of the best this year’s #1 theatre festival, on until Sept. 15, has to offer. Three of the following shows have been vetted for quality by yours truly, while the other two have good buzz. Even better – all are local productions, so you’ll see some great homegrown talent!

Changing Minds: The Musical (Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E. Cordova) – A big cast and a live band, all consisting of performers from 14 – 22, rock this original musical. The premise is your basic Freaky Friday-type of brain switcheroo scenario in a high school setting, with popular but superficial Kyle exchanging minds with the brainy and hard-studying Natalie. The songs are catchy and the cast has a blast onstage. (Mon Sept 9, 9 p.m.; Tues Sept 10 6:45 p.m.; Wed Sept 11 7:15 p.m.; Thurs Sept 12 5 p.m.; Sat Sept 14 2 p.m.; Sun Sept 15 3:45 p.m.)

The Last Piece (Havana, 1212 Commercial Drive) – Tara Pratt and Joanna Gaskell are excellent as Kate and Lee, two women who meet at a bookstore and continue on a date. The banter between the two as they get to know each other is fierce, and Jacqueline Korb’s script is both funny and serious. (Tues Sept 10, 9 p.m.; Fri Sept 13, 6:15 p.m.; Sat Sept 14 10 p.m.; Sun Sept 15 1 p.m.)

Fat Mama Network (Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E. Cordova) – Some inspired ideas and a funny four-person cast make this hour of sketch comedy worth seeing. The Spice Girls reunion parody alone is almost worth the price of admission. (Wed Sept 11 9:30 p.m.; Fri Sept 13 8:30 p.m.; Sat Sept 14 9:30 p.m.; Sun Sept 15 6 p.m.)

Allegheny, BC (Vancity Culture Lab at the Cultch, 1895 Venables St.) – Local singer/songwriter Rodney DeCroo recounts his childhood in a small coal mining town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Tues Sept 10 8:30 p.m.; Wed Sept 11 5 p.m.; Thurs Sept 12 10:30 p.m.; Friday Sept 13 7 p.m.; Sat Sept 14 8:30 p.m.; Sun Sept 15 6:30 p.m.)

Gypsy Rose Lee at Minsky’s Burlesque (Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St) – Some of the city’s most sensational burlesque dancers star in this show, which features Burgundy Brixx (who according to one report is “charmingly radiant”) as legendary dancer Gypsy Rose Lee. Lee reminisces about the early days of burlesque and she, along with the cast, re-creates routines from the 1930s. (Wed Sept 11 9:45 and Friday Sept 13 5 p.m.)

Growing Up Moni (Havana, 1212 Commercial Drive) – Actress Monica Mustelier tells us what it was like growing up in Vancouver as an ethnic minority – in her case, with a Latina mom and an Afro-Cuban father. Mixing video of herself with her live one-woman performance, Mustelier gives us impressions of her parents, a high school guidance counsellor and an agent. It’s funny, entertaining stuff; the (almost packed) house this blogger saw it with had a ball. (Thurs Sept 12 9:30 p.m.; Sat Sept 14 8:15 p.m.)

For tickets to these and other Fringe Festival plays go here.


Tagged: , , , ,

Comments are closed for this post

Comments are closed.