Tag Archives: Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival

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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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

[Victoria Fringe Festival 2018] Confessions of an Operatic Muse, A Review

29 Aug

Location: 
VCM Wood Hall
917 Pandora Avenue
*Victoria, BC

Remaining shows:
Sat Sept 1-9pm
Sun Sept 2-8:15pm

* Spoiler Alert

Canadian Comedy Award recipient Briane Nasimok had quite the life. His play, Confessions of an Operatic Mute is very autobiographical, and this playwright told me he does want to set this performance into a book. From a very young age of 8, he fell in love with theatre. He is perhaps best known as Ambrogio in The Barber of Seville when it played at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. This character did not sing. His talent is unique such that in opera, mutes are essentially movie extras. Thankfully, he has done other work in the entertainment industry. Other credits include writing for YTV’s Uh Oh!

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[Victoria Fringe Festival 2018] The Wilds are more than Flights of Fancy, A Review

29 Aug

Location:
Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra Street
Victoria, BC

Remaining Shows:
Aug 29, 8:15 pm
Aug 30 7:30 pm
Sep 1, 12:15 pm
Sep 2, 3:00 pm

  • Spoiler Alert

Victoria, BC is now the base for Wonderheads, a physical theatre company known for their puppet style theatre. They wear full head masks and also make use of minimalist set pieces to tell their tales. I remember seeing Grim and Fischer years ago and this act returns for one night only, November 8th, 2018. These shows have a wonderful mystique to them, and the tales are often enduring.
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