Features

FRINGE 2017: A Look on the Gems of the Last Week

Montreal’s Fringe Fest can be hectic at times; there’s always so much to see, and every year, I find myself saying things like “I wish I had enough time to see this,” or “I wish I had reserved tickets. I didn’t know it would sell out.” But this year, I tried to see as many shows as possible during the final week of the festival. On the recommendation of Artistic Director Amy Blackmore, I made it my goal to see at least three productions in one day. Of course, it’s hard to remember so many details when you’re running from show-to-show (and the beers at the Fringe Park probably don’t help), so here’s some short-but-sweet reviews of the shows I managed to squeeze into.

 


FRINGE 2017: THERE IS NO I IN FAIL: A RESOUNDING SUCCESS!

There is No I In Fail is “an anti-motivational comedy” about lowering your expectations that is extremely heartwarming and exceeds all expectations! Trent Baumann’s Australian one-man show is one of the most uplifting performances you’ll have the pleasure of seeing at this year’s edition of the Montreal Fringe Festival. With balloons, milk crates, newspaper and an original soundtrack by the lovely Japanese composer Sachie, Baumann will charm you to pieces!


FRINGE 2017: Berlin Waltz, Telling History Through Music

Berlin Waltz is a riveting dance across the city which faced so much controversy and hardship during the Cold War. It is a brilliant, fun story of Devon More’s bike ride along what used to be the Berlin Wall, as she discovered the history of why the wall was put up, what East and West Berlin were like for the 28 years that the city was divided, and why and how the wall fell. Her adventure came to life through her storytelling and her music in this captivating one-woman show.


FRINGE 2017: One Too Many Brings Poignant Narrative

One Too Many is a two-person play rife with symbolism and inner reflection. It challenges the way we look at excessive alcohol consumption and questions our behaviour once we’ve had one too many drinks. Based on their life and experiences, Evan and Calla confront their own complicated relationships with alcohol and explore their varying alcohol dependencies with the audience. It is a must-see if you want to better understand the struggle of substance abusers.

Having been lucky enough to discuss the play with the artists, I can provide some insight into their thought process, their vision and their message (ATTENTION: spoilers ahead!).


FRINGE 2017: The Monkey King Gets HIs Staff

Chinese Opera is an art form which I know very little about. However, like I always say about classical music, you don’t need to know a lot about something to appreciate and enjoy it. Trust me when I say that there is a lot to appreciate and enjoy about the fantastic, funny, incredibly impressive performance put on by Jing Ju Canada.


FRINGE 2017: CABARET ABNORMAL: KOOKY, SEXY FUN

Cabaret Abnormal is a mysterious showcase of Montreal’s sexiest burlesque and circus performers! Organized by Viva Diverse Productions, Cabaret Abnormal stars director and dark beauty Mikki Michelle, the madly alluring Magenta Haze, and the dangerously beautiful Tristan Ginger!


FRINGE 2017: Pounding Nails In the Floor With My Forehead

Lately, I’ve been waking up to feelings of helplessness and nihilism as my clock radio reminds me that I’m living in the age of Trump. I try to calm myself down by turning to the comedic monologues of late night talk shows, but the jokes have become repetitive. It makes me yearn for something with more substance, with more of a human touch. I need something that can stand the test of time, not just dabble in week-to-week politics.


FRINGE 2017: The Detective, The Dame and The Devil

Jazz music, incessant cigarette smoking, murder—this piece of detective fiction has it all! Everything that comes to mind from a murder mystery set in the 20s, right down to the pinstriped suites and showgirls, The Detective, The Dame and The Devil has it. What it also has in addition to your standard detective story staples are lame puns, cheap gags, and running jokes that give the whole show fantastic continuity. It was perfect. Small details revealed at the beginning of the show were easy to pass off as mere silliness, but so often they would tie into the plot in unexpected and incredibly silly ways, making the whole show completely hilarious and impressively well thought out. Throw in some plot twists and we have a winner!


FRINGE 2017: Memento Mori Surpasses Expectations

What an experience.

I’ve been to many shows over the years, where walking into the performance space feels like you’re stepping into another world, but not like this. This was more of an experience than a piece of theatre.


FRINGE 2017: PETER PANSEXUAL IS A PETER PANSENSATION

Peter Pansexual is Glam Gam Productions’ latest queer masterpiece! Running from June 1st to 16th, Peter Pansexual is directed by Sam Sullivan, produced by Michael J McCarthy and managed by Fiona Ross. Peter Pansexual is Glam Gam’s sexy, queer, vaudeville take on Disney’s problematic Peter Pan. This show combines the magic of fairytales with the struggle of being young, hip and broke in Montreal.


CJLO's Top Picks for Fringe Fest 2017

Montreal's St-Ambroise Fringe Festival is finally here! For nearly three weeks, be ready to watch and hear the best and weirdest of local and international culture, both in English et en français. CJLO will be covering the best of Fringe, and to launch our series of articles, here are our Fringe Team's top picks for this year's Fringe festival. 

 

Erica’s picks

Erica hosts The F Hole, every Monday at noon.


Pouzza Fest, 7th Edition - May 19 to 21, 2017

The seventh edition of Pouzza Fest, Montreal’s punk music festival, took place over the Victoria Day weekend. With a ridiculous amount of bands (over 150 to be less than exact) spread over an outdoor stage and several local watering holes, like Foufounes Électriques, Théatre Sainte-Catherine and The Katacombes, there was hardly a calm moment to be had. Add to that—as if there wasn’t already enough to keep a person busy—some softball at Lafontaine Park, and for those who favour a comic Pouzza Fest first, Pouzza Laughs featured stand-up comics from both Canada and the United States.


Next Music from Tokyo Offers Promising Lineup

It is the middle of the month of May, and this can only mean one thing for Japanese music nerds in Canada: it’s time for another edition of Next Music from Tokyo (NMFT).

In short, NMFT is a DIY tour organized by Steven Tanaka, funded entirely from his own pocket. It is a passion project driven entirely by the desire to expose Canada to the amazing indie music scene from Japan, and has been running annually (sometimes twice in a year) ever since 2010.


CJLO'S METAL SHOWS GET A BRAND NEW LOOK! PART 2

After inspiring a bunch of CJLO shows to turn toward the darknessMetal March has officially wound to a close for yet another year. Now that Approachable April has begun, some of CJLO's heaviest shows are doing their best to reach out to the rest of the community, and lure unsuspecting victims listeners in through a cuddly rebranding initiative.


Rap Battle Against Consumerism: Rap Takes on Familiar Foe

Consumerism is defined as the “protection and promotion of the interests of the consumer,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Dan Parker is looking to show that it is maybe time to update the term.

On March 29th, the latest installment of Rap Battles for Social Justice, “Rap Battles Against Consumerism”, will take place at Le Belmont, at 8 p.m.


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