[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] Space Hippo World Tour & Review

28 Aug

spacehippo-program-4-1024x1024-70LOCATION:
The Roxy Theatre
2657 Quadra Street

SHOWTIMES:
Mon Aug 29 – 9:30pm
Tue Aug 30 – 6:00pm
Sat Sep 3 – 8:00pm
Sun Sep 4 – 9:15pm

Mochinosha / The Wishes Mystical Puppet Company is back at this year’s Victoria Fringe Festival hosted by Intrepid Theatre, and they have crafted an original tale that, like their past shows, brings their wonderful shadow puppetry to the big screen. Space Hippo offers space opera and camp ala Irwin Allen. I’m specifically thinking of the later years of Lost in Space when it aired in colour than in black and white. In this production, there’s a blend of both to give the show a unique air of vibrancy. A lot of storyboarding was required to work out Space Hippo’s journey and I only hope there is more. This intelligent creature was recruited by the best minds of Earth to send into the cosmos to avert Earth’s destruction from aliens —and find her baby.

The team of Daniel Wishes and Seri Yanai spent a lot of time cutting, if not crafting each piece of paper used to have its silhouette projected to the screen. I’m amazed at the amount of detail put into these items. I think this show surpasses their past productions like Oni and Hitodama. These shows had a bit of raunchiness that’s more suited for a PG-13 crowd and for this cinematic marvel, it’s for everyone! Wishes said this play will be headed to Japan, where their roles will be reversed; Yanai will be the principal narrator and he will be providing the sound effects and supporting roles.

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Video

Space Sheriff Gavan Replica Laser Blade Demoed in Video by Kenji Ohba

27 Aug

OhbaGavanBy James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

Kenji Ohba has thrilled millions of Japanese children in Space Sheriff Gavan, and he has now demonstrated on YouTube the prop replica his character wielded in the series. This stuntman and iconic actor (whose early credit as a suit actor in Android Kikkaider) would eventually co-star in sentai series Battle Fever J (Shiro Akebono/Battle Kenya) and Denshi Sentai Denziman (Daigoro Oume/Denzi Blue).

In this video from Bandai, Ohba demonstrates the 1:1 scale Laser Sword, Gavan’s signature weapon. The replica from Tamashii Labs has a die-cast handle. The blade contains 20 LEDs which light up bright blue when activated by running a hand over it. [Editors’ note: sounds like a modified lightsaber to me.] Buyers can recreate the iconic scene in which Gavan powers up his blade using birdnium energy.

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Image

[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] SMUS Shakes it Up with Disney’s Camp Rock!

26 Aug

CAMP-ROCK_4CNOTE: Reblogged from Two Hungry Blokes & written by Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

LOCATION:
St. Michaels
University School
3400 Richmond Road
Saanich, BC

SHOWTIMES:
Fri Aug. 26 – 7pm
Sat Aug. 27 – 2pm
Sat Aug. 27 – 7pm

Sometimes it’s tough to decide on what to take on as the first Victoria Fringe Festival presentation for the 2016 season. This year, the decision was a no-brainer and I had to see the results of what St. Michaels University School (SMUS) Summer Musical Theatre program produced. The folks involved always deliver a quality educational curriculum to teach the next rising stars the basics while having fun at the same time. On opening night, they put on the musical version of Disney’s Camp Rock.

This show highlights the musical stylings of bands like The Jonas Brothers and the modern sounds of the past decade. Like ’em or not, those who grew up to these tunes had a rollicking time with this production. James Shaw admits to not being fond of today’s music whereas I’m open; at least I keep up when he can not, thus making me the ideal candidate to look at this production. His limitations in what he likes to talk about make for better opportunities for me to talk about my fondness for modern Disney.

Opening night was not without a few chuckle-worthy moments, gaffes included; the group was able to roll with it and continue on. They also helped each other out on stage when lines were forgotten and I believe that’s the heart of what this program extols than to provide a higher calibre show other local professional theatre schools like Canadian College of Performing Arts works on. I’ve seen their production of Little Shop of Horrors years ago, and that was a memorable show to which I grinned like a Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland when rubber bands were shot towards audiences!

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Video

Imagine Kubo and the Two Strings in a Heavy Metal Concert …

25 Aug

kuboBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Technically, in the movie Kubo and the Two Strings, the protagonist is playing a three-stringed shamisen (a lute). This instrument was originally a Chinese creation and it was introduced in Japan in the 16th Century. There is a tonal quality which always gives me shivers upon hearing, and when this movie’s early trailers came out, just waiting for the final product had me in anticipation for a very long time. To get me into the mood, I was oddly humming along to AC/DC‘s “Hells Bells.”

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