Fruit Flies Like a Banana World Tour

I have seen this group before and I have to admit that I had forgotten how gifted these three people are.  The show is absolutely entertaining, although I cannot imagine a more unlikely trio of instruments; bass trombone,  flute and percussion. Together they make beautiful music. The three are tremendous physical actors and present music from a variety of countries around the world. I have heard a didgeridoo but never before did I think it sounded musical until now. The performers carry the show along by tossing a “globe” into the audience often to children who select the next country. Each number is skillfully choreographed and the audience loved the show.  The only downside in the performance was the child who bawled with increasing volume through the last half of the show, ruining the experience for many people around her. Why would a parent not remove the child from the...

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The Death of Me

No one captures the true spirit of the Fringe Festival better than Leith Clark. The Death of Me is not one of Leith’s original plays, but a one act comedy written by Norm Foster.   Leith has cast two young actors who are relative newcomers to the Fringe Festival, Mark Balaswit and Sam Cahatol.  There are many frequent fringe performers who started in one of Leith’s shows. He also cast a couple of Fringe veterans who have not been on a stage in Winnipeg for awhile, Angela Froese and Scott Pilgrim.  The stage is a simple set of two white chairs and a matching table against a black floor and backdrop. Everything is left to the actors who deliver good performances. Scott Pilgrim’s comedic timing is impeccable and it was a pleasure to see him on stage again.  I expected more of the play itself given the esteem and reputation of the playwright, however I did enjoy the...

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The Mod Couple

The Mod Couple, a play written by Molly Cross-Blanchard and produced by Not10 Productions is an entertaining sit-com like presentation that, as you might expect, copies much from the “Odd Couple”, even the opening music was the original theme song. Max and Guy are much like the original in that Guy Is a slob and Max is tidy. Two recliner chairs were the central focus of the stage, one surrounded by Gatorade bottles, empty beer cans, snack food and dirty underwear to emphasize the difference between the two characters. Max has decided he wants to adopt a child, a...

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The (Un)Happy Medium

The (Unhappy) Medium, written by Heather Madill who also played the central character, and directed by Alan MacKenzie is an entertaining, funny and thought provoking play about living with Anxiety and Depression, literally.   The writing brilliantly brings humour to the often ignored and sometimes taboo subject of mental illness. The approach to this serious subject matter is clever and attention grabbing. Laura Kolisnyk and Scott Douglas portray Anxiety and Depression very well. Heather Madill has the difficult job of wrestling with the conflicting inputs she receives from these two characters. This is Heather’s story. She presents it with...

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Executing Justice

Executing Justice is a one actor show written and performed by Bill Patts.  Bill is an excellent actor and has written a profound, disturbing and thought provoking play. As well as the main character, he also portrays five other supporting roles.  We initially see his main character to be evil, vile and indeed hateful. As he unfolds his story we realize that this man is really a product of a totally screwed up social support network and that we collectively bear the responsibility for that.  Do we as individuals as well? His performance is powerful, emotional and heart wrenching.  I have always found Bill Patt’s writing to be insightful, but this may be his best yet.  His play is a call for significant change to our social support network. He presents it in a way that is very real and hopefully it will in some way impact how each of us think and respond to each other’s needs.  Executing Justice is an excellent play and an outstanding...

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Mennonites Guide to Street Fighting 4

Mennonite’s Guide to Savage Street Fighting 4: Cards Against The Rascals The Crosseyed Rascals have again brought their “clean” comedy show to the Fringe Festival.  The group is energetic and fun, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable hour.  Children respond so well to the silliness of Improv theatre but are usually unable to have access to this form of entertainment, so kudos to the Rascals for making this available.  The games they play are entertaining and if you like improv check this out. The “cleanliness” is...

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Padre X

Marc A. Moir beautifully tells the story of John Weir Foote, a Canadian Chaplain who heroically helped save many soldiers’ lives and ended up as a prisoner of war.   Marc is an energetic and dynamic actor who brings intense emotion to his story and truly brings it to life.  The nostalgic WWII music that included Glen Miller’s “In the Mood” and “White Cliffs of Dover” set the stage for this historical one man show.   The performance was well attended by a very appreciative audience who rewarded Marc’s performance with a standing...

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The Bunker

The Bunker is a two actor play about the last two people remaining in a bunker, and possibly the world. The play begins at the one year anniversary of their stay, immediately following the exit of 10 others who were with them had left and returned to the surface, and were presumed to have died. It is an interesting study of the effect of such close living circumstances for an extended period. Some of the games and activities they developed to occupy their time were very interesting. I particularly enjoyed their daily radio broadcasts. Joanna Burdon and Kevin P. Gable play beautifully off each other. The intensity of some of the exchanges between them is electric. The play uses video effectively to set the stage, provide some background information and move the story along. Very effective sound and lighting effects enhanced the production as well. Overall, I enjoyed the performances and the play. It is an intriguing situation and the acting is...

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Edgar Allan

Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan completely captivated their audience in the production of Edgar Allan. This is a story of two eleven year old boys who meet at a private school and develop a friendship. The story is carried forward through the music and singing of both actors but primarily Ms. Hartman. The alluring tale quickly draws the audience into a world of eleven year olds’ secret clubs and magical names. The performances by both actors are superb, and the play they have created is darkly enchanting with rich dialogue and haunting music. These New York actors are at Winnipeg Fringe Festival for the second time and certainly sing praises for our Festival and its patrons. The performance was sold out and I expect the remaining ones will be as well. Get your tickets...

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Fragments

“Fragments” is the reading of an original poem written by Lara Rae with material provided by Catherine Wreford Ledlow. It is a deeply personal story about the challenges and the journeys of both of these brave women. The poem is frank, honest, direct and passionate as it seems is the poem’s author as well. Lara reads the poem to the audience with the candor and honesty demanded. While there is some humor in the piece, it is for the most part difficult to hear. I feel compelled to listen. I know Catherine and I know her story. Lara’s story...

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Flight

Flight, the Little Prince Returns, is a story told through word and movement. The three performers, Cynthia Price as the Prince, Christian Sullivan as the Pilot and Taylor Casa as the Cactus are all tremendously talented physical actors with great acrobatic and gymnastic abilities. The three performers tell a lovely, imaginative story though narration and movement. It is a beautiful presentation of dance and athleticism. It is a well-choreographed and magical show, and while it is certainly for all ages, children will truly enjoy it. I particularly enjoyed Badger in a Box. The story has a strong message that...

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Macbeth Muet

Macbeth Muet is a delightful presentation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth delivered without a spoken word. The two actors, Jeremie Francoeur and Clara Prevost, primarily play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth but perform other roles in the play as well; Macduff and Lady Macduff, the Banquos and the three witches. The performers made excellent use of puppetry and props including a lot of fake blood and broken eggs. They delivered a very effective physical performance including well-choreographed violent fight scenes, and some very energetic and hilarious love making. Both electronic and physical signage was effectively used to move the show along and...

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Joe Job

Cory Wojcik had probably the busiest season of any actor in the city last year. How he had time to write such a wonderful play at the same time is simply mind boggling. Joe Job is a play about two people whose lives intersect at different times in their lives, in surprisingly different ways. I have deliberately avoided telling you much about the story as I would like it to unfold for you as it did for me. I will tell you that it is the kind of play that may challenge your way of thinking; a play that...

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The Red Letters

Fringe Festival provides an opportunity for writers/thespians to present that about which they are most passionate. This is definitely the case of the Jason Daase production of The Red Letters. Jason presents Jesus Christ crucified, sermonizing and risen. While the writing itself is mostly direct quotations from the Bible, the beatitudes and other teachings of Jesus are seamlessly and engagingly melded together. The actor’s performance is polished, flawless and passionate, alternating between scenes on the cross and recollections of His life. The stage is simple with a stark and imposing cross, the centrepiece between beautiful backdrop paintings created by...

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Patron Ratings

(2 votes minimum)
  1. Prophecy
    Rating: 9.4. From 5 votes.
  2. The House of Yes
    Rating: 9.1. From 8 votes.
  3. Josephine
    Rating: 8.8. From 9 votes.
  4. On Love
    Rating: 8.8. From 4 votes.
  5. The Standoff
    Rating: 8.7. From 6 votes.
  6. The Time In-Between
    Rating: 8.7. From 6 votes.
  7. A Fatal Step
    Rating: 8.7. From 3 votes.
  8. Comedy is Funny Again
    Rating: 8.7. From 3 votes.
  9. The Bald Soprano
    Rating: 8.6. From 5 votes.
  10. Fruit Flies Like a Banana: World Tour
    Rating: 8.5. From 4 votes.