What to see and hear at Calgary Fringe Festival

The Calgary Eyeopener's Theatre Critic Jessica Goldman's recommendations for the Calgary Fringe Festival.

Jessica Goldman's picks for the 9 days of fringe

Chase Padgett's Nashville Hurricane is a show not to be missed, says theatre critic Jessica Goldman. Padgett's popular Six Guitars show was a hit at the Calgary Fringe Festival two years ago, she says. (Courtesy Chase Padgett)

Theatre critic Jessica Goldman had some recommendations on what to see at this year's Calgary Fringe Festival on the Calgary Eyeopener this morning.

She says there are tons of shows to see of all different genres — comedy, musicals, dramas, one-man shows.

  • Hear Jessica Goldman talk fringe with The Eyeopener's Holly Preston:

A fringe festival means that there's no jury to choose what shows get in. And that, says Goldman, is part of the fun of fringing.

"You pay about $14 a show, they're usually one hour in length. Sometimes you see something fabulous, sometimes you see something that's fine, sometimes you see a stinker but that's OK, you just dust off and move to the next one," says Goldman.

Goldman's picks

Radio 30 

Nashville Hurricane

Ludwig and Lohengrin

"There are between 15 and 24 shows performing everyday at different times, so there's lots of choice out there."

As for recommendations, she says there are a few she's really looking forward to.

"The show that I'm the most excited about this year, and the one that has the most buzz, is a dark comedy called Radio 30 about a slick radio pitchman with some skeletons in the closet who comes totally undone during the taping of a radio spot."

She also recommending the new show from performer Chase Padgett.

"The show is called Nashville Hurricane. It's a musical comedy about a heroic guitar prodigy with an odd medical condition," says Goldman.

"Some people might remember Chase from his huge hit Six Guitars which played at the fringe two years ago," she says.

"Nashville Hurricane has the same kind of multi-character, guitar-cabaret feel and this one feels like it's more of a traditional plot following one character."

She says Padgett told her the show has some of the hardest guitar playing he's ever done.

"He's an incredibly talented actor, singer, musician. I'm really looking forward to see what he brings us this year."

With so many shows from other festivals this year Goldman says she's worried she might miss out on the risk and discovery of seeing brand new shows.

One new one she'll see for sure is the world premiere of Kyall Rakoz's Ludwig and Lohengrin.

"It's a one-man show, he's a Calgary boy — I'm taking a flyer and hoping for the best."

The show is based on the life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.