Tag Archives: Comedy

Angels & Aliens are not all that Ancient, Fringe Review

5 Sep

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Continues at the Vancouver Fringe Festival 2018 (Sept 6-14)

Existentialism gets a huge boost with Angels & Aliens, a play I saw at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival. this play by Jeff Leard and Sydney Hayduk tackles an age-old question of where did we come from and if we are being manipulated by a greater force, hence the title. No Ancient Aliens here. A theory on how life is not simply binary (plagued with yes and nos) is implied.

The next time I play Sim City, I will have to be careful in which window I look in on. Here, the game is called iBang. The players are Jeff and Syd, playing opposing sides in this game—angels and aliens are guiding humanity to peaceful coexistence. The characters in the digital universe are also Jeff and Syd. In real life, they have a “domestic” squabble and how they deal is like the game they are playing. Shades of The Matrix can be found here.

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It’s Never a Disaster! at SMUS & the Victoria Fringe Festival (the Musical in Review)

1 Sep

IMG_8677By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Location:
St Michaels University School
3400 Richmond Road
Victoria, BC

Remaining shows:
Sept 1
2pm, 7pm

The St Michaels University School Summer Music Intensive program never disappoints. Every year, for the past decade, at least, the team here have put on a show as part of the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival and in the past several years I have been attending, I enjoy seeing new talents rise. This year has been a record year: Twenty-five students enrolled. I noticed one member going over the script and perhaps helping fellow cast-mates with when their cue is coming up.

This year, a Disaster! The Musical is in the making. This play paid homage to 70s disaster flicks and the all the calamities that take place had to be fully imagined than recreated for the stage. This production is high school level at best. No budget exists to recreate tsunamis, earthquakes and killer bees in a grande scale. The students get to switch roles per show, so each of them come out feeling more rewarded in showcasing their talent. No standouts exist this year. They were all equals in my mind. Memorable numbers include “Still the One” and “You’re my Best Friend.”

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Kitt & Jane visits the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival & The Apocalypse! A Review

31 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)


Location:
Langham Court Theatre
805 Langham Crt
Victoria, BC

Remaining Shows:
Sep 1, 10:00 pm
Sep 2, 2:30 pm

Kitt & Jane is quirky enough to make me wonder if co-creator Ingrid Hansen also drew inspiration from Disney’s Star vs The Forces of Evil. If this cartoon ever gets made into a live action film, I feel she should be cast! The efforts she put into the characters she plays is unfettered and unique. She co-created this show with Kathleen Greenfield. The subtitle to this work is An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future and I can see where the interactive comes in (more on this later). Other shows this play drew influence include Gravity Falls and Adventure Time. I feel Star is closer to this play than the others when considering I have been recently watching too much of this toon during DisneyXD’s free preview month.

This show is perhaps the most technically extravagant. In between the projection work, lighting effects and musical performances (including a real live streaming event; folks can follow along on #kittandjane. Just where it can be streamed, I could only find older streams than the latest), the tale between two prepubescent teens is especially poignant. I noticed the growing relationship more than the other story beats. Kitt (Hansen) believes the world is coming to an end, and the boy who stands by her side (oddly named Jane, played by the incomparable Rod Peter Jr.) is with her thick and thin!

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The War of 1812 Hits the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival, and it’s a Hoot!

31 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Location:
Langham Court Theatre
805 Langham Ct.
Victoria, BC

Remaining Showtimes:
Aug 31 7:15 pm
Sep 01 12:00 pm
Sep 02 8:15 pm

Wes Borg, Morgan Cranny, Mike Delamont, and Rod Peter Jr. need to teach Social Studies! While I can find them performing at the Victoria Fringe Festival, I have to wonder how they can handle a classroom of attention deficit youths. Back when I went to high school, I found Canadian history boring. The War of 1812 gets unpolitically correct. No one is being blamed for how it started, but to see how all three sides (Britain, USA and Canada) dealt with the annexing of trade was explored in comedic context. With this heavyweight of comedic talents—all of whom are well known in the Victoria, BC theatre scene—I can ace any final exam!

I am not sure how accurate the information in the “historical reenactments” is, but this comedic revue had a lot of moments which made me laugh out loud. There were cross-dressing and innuendo. To witness how this country was built certainly puts one song from Jefferson Starship to shame. While it’s easy to build a city on rock and roll, what about the politics and businesses involved? There were pointed shots which I loved. There was never a moment which did not have me in stitches.

When this show started with a student (played by Borg) giving a presentation (it was obvious he had no sense of patriotism) and faster than anyone could say Charles Dickens, he gets visited by the ghost of Pierre Berton and they go back in time to learn how this country was made free. After several battles, role switches and home invasions, this boy gets it. I doubt the adults in the room (the audience) needed reminding, but to see two burly men, an average and one thin figure (Peter Jr.) just have fun made my night. There was singing and clapping, and even wiffle balls being thrown. The gang was not intentionally tripping each other up; I saw moments where giggles had to be stifled.

Borg’s artistry is infectious. He and Paul Mather originally wrote this work back in the late 90’s, and this show has seen revisions over the years and infrequent performances. It was an all musical production back in the early days, and just how much of it was revised requires knowing how the past versions looked. YouTube is great for looking some iterations up. With this new version, I empathized with the wrapping narrative. Plus, I want to see this show (and see Delamont in drag) again. Borg’s lyrical stylings are comparable to that of The Arrogant Worms. Both are similar in content, but to say I love to see all Borg all the time requires paying full attention to what goes on in the theatre scene. Yes, I have been assimilated.

5 Stars out of 5