10 shows (and more) to watch for at the Winnipeg Fringe
The Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival features 178 show at venues around town July 16 - 27
The Fringe likes it when you watch - and we like it when you guess at what this year’s hit shows will be. Here are ten shows I’m looking forward to at this year’s Fringe:
Ludwig & Lohengrin (Kyall Rakoz, Venue 5): A one-man show about the “mad” king of Bavaria might sound like a stretch, even for the Fringe. But Kyall Rakoz’s solo performance has earned him raves in his hometown of Calgary.
Action Figure (Chris Kauffman, Venue 6): Writer/performer Chris Kauffman is half of the comedy duo Harrington and Kauffman - who had a great track record with their past (infrequent) Winnipeg Fringe appearances (2000’s Hotel California, Nharcolepsy in 2002, and Cabaret Terrarium in 2010).
Nashville Hurricane (Chase Padgett Productions, Venue 16): Chase Padgett made his Winnipeg Fringe debut last year with one of my favourite shows of the festival, 6 Guitars. He returns with more characters and guitar wizardry in a show that’s hopefully just as good.
High Tea (Life & Depth, Venue 19): The comedy duo James and Jamesy were a hit with last year’s 2 for Tea. This new show promises a story of friendship, and more tea.
Suddenly, Last Summer (The 28th Minute, Venue 21): This young local company, taking on a Tennessee Williams play this year, has produced two exceptional dramas at recent festivals - last year’s Rope and Orphans the year before.
Taxidermy 2: Another Musical (Shwawawa Productions, Venue 22): A surprise hit at last year’s Fringe from more local youngsters, Taxidermy was one of the festival’s most goofy, entertaining romps - and one of the year’s hottest tickets.
We Glow (Theatre 4.669, Venue 30): It’s been a while - and too long - since the Winnipeg Fringe last saw Emily Pearlman, half of the Ottawa duo behind the absolutely magical Countries Shaped Like Stars. She returns with collaborator Brad Long for a site-specific production - at the United Way on Main Street - that should be worth seeking out.
And there are plenty of other festival favourites returning, like Drive Dance (Accelerate), the Wonderheads (The Middle of Everywhere), Crumbs (Made Up Truths), Die Roten Punkte (Eurosmash!), Martin Dockery (The Surprise), Winnipeg Studio Theatre (Godspell) and Jayson McDonald (Magic Unicorn Island).
And look for some of the standouts from the Toronto Fringe which we’ve already reviewed, like Nancy Kenny’s festival favourite Roller Derby Saved My Soul, the western comedy Watch Out WildKat! (Yer Dealin’ With the Devil), and the haunting Civil War-era song cycle The Legend of White Woman Creek.