Archives for September 2015

Two fave Fringe holdovers

Peter n' Chris, Vancouver Fringe

Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson get all metatheatrical—and existential—in Here Lies Chris

This is the perfect opportunity for you slackers who didn’t see enough at the Fringe.

Two of my favourite shows from are being held over as part of the Granville Island Public Market’s Pick of the Fringe, which runs from September 23 to 27.

Tonight (Wednesday, September 23), you can catch Peter n’ Chris present: Here Lies Chris. These guys make sketch comedy look a lot easier than it is.

And, on Friday (September 25), you have one last chance to see Brendan McLeod’s Brain, in which the charming writer and solo performer explores consciousness—his own—and its pitfalls.

Both shows run at 8:45 at the Revue Stage. Book ’em, if you know what’s good for you.

Master class with John Vaillant

John Vaillant is an excellent writer and, I'm told, a very nice guy. Learn from him.

John Vaillant is an excellent writer and, I’m told, a very nice guy. Learn from him.

Writing pals, you should know about the series of master classes that the Tyee is offering. On September 26, John Vaillant is teaching. He’s an accomplished writer of creative non-fiction. His books The Golden Spruce and Tiger are both highly praised and highly readable. Check out the whole series of master classes here: http://thetyee.ca/MasterClass/Fall2015/Non-Fiction-John-Vaillant/

Acting at the Fringe

Kyle Jespersen, The Fighting Season, Vancouver Fringe

Kyle Jespersen delivers one of the standout performances at the Fringe. (Okay, so this photo isn’t from The Fighting Season, but it’s him.)

There’s a lot of excellent acting at the Vancouver Fringe this year.

Under Evan Frayne’s direction, everybody in The Fighting Season is terrific. I’m talking about Kyle Jespersen, Tom Pickett, and Siona Gareau-Brennan. Jespersen’s portrait of a traumatized medic is a heartbreaker.

I was very excited to discover Naomi Vogt in Faroe Islands, which is playing with Ostrich. Her performance as a disappointed environmentalist is so seamless that you might think what she’s doing doesn’t take much skill. Don’t make that mistake.

And, if you want to know something about timing, watch Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson (Peter n’ Chris present: Here Lies Chris) in action.

One weekend left, folks. Wallow.

P.S. And then there’s Chase Padgett, whom I saw in Nashville Hurricane after I wrote this post. I’d seen this show years ago and had forgotten how good he is. Five vivid characterizations from this guy. Amazing.

P.P.S. The folks from Rumble would like me to credit the photo of Kyle, which I snatched from the internet. Apparently, it’s from Rumble’s production of Penelope, and the pic was taken by Chikenskratch Productions.

Four Fringe picks

Brendan McLeod, Brain, Vancouver Fringe Festival

Love him or love him: Brendan McLeod in Brain.

The Vancouver Fringe Festival is flat-out my favourite time of the theatrical year.

Because I saw a bunch of shows at the Victoria Fringe, I’ve already seen a dozen pieces that are playing here.

Here are my top four picks so far. They’re all excellent. In alphabetical order:

BRAIN: Brendan McLeod’s autobiographical solo show about consciousness and its pitfalls is generously offered and beautifully crafted. You’ll love this guy.

THE EXCLUSION ZONE: The consistently excellent storyteller Martin Dockery returns with a thematically dense meditation on Chernobyl—and the impulse to create meaning.

NASHVILLE HURRICANE: Chase Padgett’s talent is monstrous. In  this one, he plays a guitar prodigy—and five important people in his life. The guy is a shapeshifter and he plays a mean guitar.

PETER AND CHRIS PRESENT: HERE LIES CHRIS: I’m recommending this show to everybody because everybody will like it. Sketch comedy at its finest, it’s about friendship. It’s also about the mechanics of humour. But mostly it’s about laughing your pants off.

Enjoy yourselves! There’s a lot more Fringe to come.