I’m a bit behind but here are my notes. I wouldn’t really call them “reviews” —I have been seeing shows almost every day this year, and I have encountered some disappointing shows that had great reviews, and of course, opposites. So don’t rely too much on the reviews, take the risk and go see you feel like seeing.
Day Three: I took an evening off after FringeKids on Saturday.
Written and performed by Jill Vice (San Fransisco) /Solo Comedy/PG14+/Venue 7: Fairfield Hall (1303 Fairfield)
I saw Jill walking around with a sign on her back at the Fringe preview. Someone told me she won Pick of Fringe in San Fransisco and my curiosity was piqued. I went to see her on Day 2 at Fairfield Hall.
Have you ever worked in a service industry? I have. I worked as a bartender when I was 19. It was illegal to work at a bar when you are 19 in Japan so my boss told me to tell everyone I was 20. It was fun, I had way more energy than I do now, and I met a lot of amazing (and not-so-amazing) people there. Most of the basic life lessons I learned when I was bartending. Like, The scariest thing in the world, is often people. One of the regulars said that to me one night, and to this day, I believe that.
The show is about a kind, yet skilled bartender Candy, and all the regulars at the bar, Happy’s. It’s a one-person show with no costume change whatsoever. Jill plays 16 different characters— mostly men—flawlessly. It’s full of funny moments and catchy phrases for audience participation. At one point I thought this show was going to be one of those laugh-out-loud funny haha show—there is nothing wrong with that—but there is a good twist in the story and it makes it all heartfelt. Don’t worry, it won’t be all soppy, there is an epic slo-mo scene as well.
I’ve had the privilege to chat with Jill after the show and also at length at Fringe Club last night. I am impressed with her dedication to the show. The show sold out few days ago and I am not at all surprised. It’s hilarious and touching. Make sure you go see it.
Only two more shows left:
Saturday September 5 – 7:30pm
Sunday September 6 – 5:45pm
Written and performed by Rosie Bitts (Victoria)/Storytelling, Cabaret, Burlesque/Adults Only/Venue 7: Fairfield Hall
After seeing Jill’s show, I stayed to watch my friend Rosie’s show. She is a hugely popular burlesque star in Victoria, and it was apparent that she has a big fan base. Audience were full of giggling women and some familiar faces from the burlesque community. Rosie is perhaps the most feminine friend I have. She is always sweet and kind, impeccably dressed—no wonder she has many fans. I have seen Rosie’s burlesque performance few times, but this was the first time I saw Stories of Love and Passion.
Burlesque is certainly a part of this show, but there are also storytelling and music. I was pleasantly surprised how funny it was. Of course, they are all sex stories, but she shares them with humour without being overly raunchy. It was almost like I was at a slumber party and she was sharing some of the funniest (and some poignant) moments. Burlesque and musical performances accompanied by “Jeffrey” (Jeff Poynter) was quite lovely too. I think he and Rosie has great chemistry. I left feeling quite entertained —I got to laugh, I got to see the burlesque and enjoy music. And of course, it’s very intimate and sexy. Totally worth your money. Go see it.
There are two more shows coming up:
Saturday September 5 – 5:45pm
Sunday September 6 – 7:30pm
Written and Performed by Sam S. Mullins/Storytelling Comedy/ Venue 4: VCM Wood Hall (907 Pandora)
I LOVE This American Life. I also love The Moth. I love me good storytelling. There are many storytelling shows at this year’s Fringe, and this has been my favourite so far. I didn’t know anything about Sam Mullins, that he actually studied theatre at Uvic, but as soon as he came onto the stage and uttered few words, I was hooked. He has great projection and obviously properly trained actor. I was sitting in the very last row at the Wood Hall, and I had no problem seeing/hearing him.
Sam starts the story with the part he walks into an improv class on Blanshard Street. There he was asked to write down some truths he knows. It’s a story about his truths as he knows it.
Man he’s good. Sam is an excellent storyteller and I’m a sucker for excellent storytellers. I have several “theatre crushes“- which I feel for amazing artists. Sam Mullins is my latest addition to the list. His delivery is effective and writing fantastic. I loved all the stories but especially the one “Life is fleeting”. How true it is.
I understand some stories don’t necessarily have proper endings, and that’s okay, but one of the things I loved about this show was that in the end, it beautifully came together. It shows his talent as a great writer. This is the kind of show I’d gladly watch twice. This is a show not to be missed.
Four more shows left:
Wednesday, September 2 – 6:00pm
Friday, September 4 – 10:00pm
Saturday, September 5 – 7:15pm
Sunday, September 6 – 4:45pm
Written and performed by Keara Barnes/Solo Comedy, Storytelling/PG14+/Venue 4: VCM Wood Hall
Another Uvic Theatre graduate actor Keara Barnes from Vancouver. After graduating, Keara moved to Ireland—for six months. Six months turned to three years. She met a guy. He had a daughter. Almost A Stepmom is a true story of her experience.
Just before the show starts, a woman (Keara) with a thick Irish accent with a glass of wine strut out onto the stage and starts yelling at the audience. She is harsh, rude and she doesn’t seem to care. Turns out, that is She Who Must Not Be Named, a character of Keara’s boyfriend, Joe’s ex. Keara tells the story of her move to Ireland, meeting Joe, his daughter Efa, and She Who Must Not Be Named. It’s a very short show (35 minutes) but she is a good actor – changing into four or five different characters effortlessly. With Irish accent it’s no small feat!
I related to the story because I am in a blended family (although I’m not the stepmom-my husband is the stepdad). Also, as a mom, I’d hate to see any child suffering. So it definitely tug at my heartstrings. I look forward to seeing more shows by Keara.
Three more shows left:
Thursday, September 3 – 5:00pm
Saturday, September 5 – 5:45pm
Sunday, September 6 – 8:30pm