On Day 8, we went to see The Best Meal You Ever Ate and Bear Dreams.
The Best Meal You Ever Ate
Written by Bruce L. Bloom/Dramatic Comedy/PG14+/Site B: Congregation Emanu-El(1461 Blanshard)
Site B is Victoria Fringe’s latest venue, yet this is the oldest synagogue in Canada and Western North America(!)
My husband is Jewish, so we have done the tour or this beautiful synagogue before, but last night we were pleasantly surprised how they have transformed the part of it as black box theatre. My husband call them affectionately “my people”; “As you know, my people loves show business” 🙂
Avram and Netti are the last two Jews left alive in the ghetto fighting the Nazis, when an unexpected visitor arrives with a sublime multi-course meal…but is it kosher?
The scene is set in the ghetto and the space had a very intimate feeling. We sat right in the front row and the actors were only few feet away. At the beginning, they showed several photos from the war time and my husband said he couldn’t help but to get all emotional every time he sees/hears about the time.
We were pleasantly surprised with the show. Avral and Netti are starving. They see a man in white walking towards them. It was Jean-Paul, a very talented chef, with amazing meal in a basket. Are they dreaming? Why is he doing this to them??
Interesting thing about this play is that they actually do have real food on the table and actors eat them. They looked delicious!
All the actors were very good, particularly Jean-Paul. It’s a short play with just one act, but it’s a story of hope and we left feeling happy. They have one more show left on Sunday, September 6 – 2:00pm.
I’m looking forward to seeing more shows at this venue in the future.
For Body and Light Presents: Bear Dreams
Written and created by Ian Ferrier and Stéphanie Morin-Robert/Dance/Venue 3: Metro Studio(1411 Quadra)
I had the privilege of meeting the director and choreographer Stéphanie Morin-Robert when she was in town to perform Me, Myself and Eye at Uno fest. This time, she is back with inter-generational collaboration with poet and spoken word artist Ian Ferrier.
We had a nice surprise at the beginning of the performance. Ian said everywhere they go, they try to connect with the literary community, and last night it was a poet and Victoria city councillor Jeremy Loveday who read couple of his poems. This was a nice touch.
Then Ian started narrating his story of Bear Dreams while playing his guitar. It’s a story of a young couple who go searching, first for each other, and then the heart of winter. The show starts with the couple lying on the pillows on the floor in the dark. Then, Stéphanie walks in with this really cool pendant light. After this, the light and the dance will mesmerize you. The theatre is mostly pitch black, except for the pendant light for a while. It is fascinating.
I’m not a dancer but love watching dances. So is my husband. Frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show -but honestly, I have never seen anything like this.
The young lovers’ dance is breathtaking. Ian continues his narration of the story. He read very calmly and the guitar is mostly played low…it is quite meditative. I have to be honest here, I wasn’t really listening to the story…because I was so fascinated watching the dancers.
Then the giant white parachute appears on stage. Dancer Danika Cormier’s moves with this parachute captivated me. Soon this becomes a giant ice field…it was so imaginative and beautiful.
Two dancers continue to dance outside and inside the parachute (when they are inside, all we can see is their movement and shadows, but that is still mesmerizing).
Eventually, Stephanie would walk into the audience and without saying anything, bring several volunteers onto the stage. I got to be one of them! We were handed the parachute (like we did in kindergarten), then asked to go inside the giant air bubble. Inside, we strangers all smiled quietly. Dancers continued to dance. We were given small lights to shine onto the parachute while dancers danced…it was almost magical. Like I said, I have never seen/done anything like it.
It was beautiful, graceful and touching. Do not miss this show if you want to be inspired. Highly recommended.
Three more shows left:
Friday, September 4 – 5:30pm
Saturday, September 5 – 7:30pm
Sunday, September 6 – 6:45pm
Other show notes I’ve written from 2015 Fringe: