The annual Vancouver Fringe Festival runs Sept. 6-16. As usual, there are hundreds of shows at several different venues, most on Granville Island but with a few exceptions.
There are way too many shows to go through individually, so we’ve selected a few based solely on the fact that the people behind the shows sent us emails about their work and, in some cases, images.
So be warned: this is an entirely unscientific (and uncritical) selection. Find out more about the Fringe including showtimes for the pieces listed below at vancouverfringe.com. Click on show title links for tickets.
TrudeauMania—Set mostly in the halcyon days of 1968-70 at the height of TrudeauMania, this 90-minute play depicts former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s life and rise to power. The show features original music, four-piece band and a cast of nine actors, singers, and dancers. According to the press release, “the play uses drama, humour and satire to reveal both the light and dark sides and many things you may not know about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s father, the legendary, rose-wearing enigma.”
Big Sister—According to the press release, Big Sister is “a comedy about the relationship between two sisters and what happens when one of them changes” and “explores a world of evil siblings, fat shaming, and unlikely collaboration.” It’s based on the story of older sister/actor Naomi Vogt’s 70-pound weight loss and written from the perspective of younger sibling/writer Deborah Vogt. Big Sister Naomi Vogt performs the one-woman show. World premiere.
Small Town Boys—Montreal-born and former Vancouver resident Sean Casey Leclaire explores masculinity and vulnerability in this one-man play. It takes place in the 1970s and set in a small-town tavern, as well as in various locations across Canada. The story is about a band of high school boys in a rough and tumble town near Montreal. LeClaire is a poet, actor, and executive coach; in Small Town Boys, he plays 17 characters.
Weirdo—Australian Robbie T’s Weirdo is a one-man show about a magician named Robbie. According to the press release, “Through a unique blend of interactive theatre, magic, and storytelling, Robbie reveals his inner weirdo, and encourages the audience to embrace their own… At times during the show, it may appear as though not everything is going to plan. But it is this carefully planned illusion of incompetence, which will build towards a remarkable climax.” Robbie T first performed the show to sell-out crowds in the Perth Fringe Festival earlier this year.
Poly Queer Love Ballad—In this spoken-word musical, a polyamorous bisexual poet meets a monogamous lesbian songwriter at East Vancouver’s home of slam-poetry, Cafe Deux Soleil. Press release: “With two microphones, a loop pedal, and array of instruments, they struggle to reconcile their fierce mutual attraction with their opposing perspectives on love.”
Awkward Hug—Cory Thibert’s one-man show takes audiences to the summer of 2009 when he was a self-described “19-year-old introvert in a screamo band discovering the extent of my parents’ disabilities.” Vancouver is the last stop on the show’s tour of eight Fringe Festivals this year.
Palabra Flamenco en el Tiempo—Flamenco guitar, dance, and song with English-language poetry. According to the press release: “Although steeped in tradition, this show is among the first of its kind using poetry in English.”
G.R.A.F.F.I.T.I. presents Cado—Two lovers pray for a miracle and it comes in the form of the devil’s lettuce. The show runs 70 minutes long and is “funny, silly, weird and contains some coarse language,” according to the press release. G.R.A.F.F.I.T.I. is a pilot project of the Green Room Theatre Camp, a performing arts charity for youth in Surrey, BC; Cado is written and directed by Ian Kuiken, a 2015 alumnus of Green Room Theatre Camp.
F*ck Tinder: a love story—Written and performed by The Moth StorySLAM champion David Rodwin, F*ck Tinder played to sold-out houses in Edmonton, LA, SF and DC. F*ck Tinder won the Best Solo Performance award at DC’s Capital Fringe Festival, nabbed a Best Solo Performance nomination at The Hollywood Fringe Festival, and sold out every show over a three-month run in San Francisco.
The Other Side of the Flood—David Lee Morgan, a London, UK and BBC Poetry Slam champion, presents a story about… well, let’s see what the press release says: “A computer wakes up in the year 2035, on the eve of the world socialist revolution… Fighting has broken out all over the globe. For the first time, the U.S. military has used tactical nuclear weapons against its own population – to destroy the Los Angeles Commune. Suddenly, all communication stops. A new player arrives on the scene, a singularity, a computer exploding into consciousness and fighting for sanity through a barrage of conflicting images and downloaded personalities… [The Other Side of the Flood] follows the intertwined stories of Hamida, a leader in the South Asian Socialist Alliance, her daughter Sulthana – and Amparo, a leader in the Los Angeles Commune and her son Jesse, a veteran of the South Asian War.”