Manitoba

Encore: 10 hits coming back to the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Festival

With 178 shows on offer at the 32nd annual Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, there’s lots that’s new — and also a few past hits back for another round. Here are some of the show to watch for this year if you missed them the first time.

Josephine, 2 For Tea, One-Man Star Wars Trilogy among past hits returning for 2019

Tymisha Harris returns with her hit show Josephine, along with La Baker at the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe. (Submitted by Dynamite Lunchbox Productions)

With 178 shows on offer at the 32nd annual Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival (July 17-28), there's plenty that's new — and also a few past hits back for another round.

Here are some of the show to watch for this year if you missed them the first time.

Underneath the Lintel: John D. Huston's masterful performance of a fascinating script by Glen Berger — about the mystery surrounding a library book returned 113 years overdue — won this show a spot on CBC's Fringe Top 10 way back in 2007. After more than a decade, it makes a welcome return. Here's an excerpt from our 2007 four-star review:

Thematically it's heavy stuff, but Huston brings a light touch to the often hilariously fastidious librarian. It's a masterful performance, although less-patient Fringers should be warned that at 90 minutes, the show does overstay its welcome a touch. Still, it's a fascinating exploration of identity, existence — and the true meaning of those "date due" stamps.

(Reviewed at the 2007 Toronto Fringe Festival)

Chris Gibbs's Not Quite Sherlock was seen at the 2005 Winnipeg Fringe under its original title, Antoine Feval. (Victoria Playhouse/Facebook)

Not Quite Sherlock: Going back even further, the brilliantly funny Chris Gibbs returns to the Winnipeg Fringe after too long an absence with this show, originally called Antoine Feval when it ran way back at the 2005 festival. 

Lip Service: This sketch collection was a five-star hit last year with its "loud and proud celebration of female sexuality starring two of the most gifted and funny physical performers at the Fringe."

Ashley Whitehead and Natalie Tin Yin Gan are back with their five-star hit Lip Service. (Wendy D Photography)

One Man Star Wars Trilogy: Charlie Ross's solo performance of the classic science-fantasy series has been delighting audiences since 2001. If superheroes are more your thing, Ross also offers up One Man Avengers at this year's festival.

Ryan Gladstone's No Tweed Too Tight returns with more kicks for the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. (Submitted by Monster Theatre)

No Tweed Too Tight: Another Grant Canyon Mystery: Ryan Gladstone brings this 2012 and 2014 hit, featuring the booze-soaked antics of private investigator Grant Canyon, back for more throwback fun. His company, Monster Theatre, is also presenting Juliet: A Revenge Comedy this year.

2 for Tea: Back for a remarkable fourth run at the Winnipeg Fringe, James & Jamesy offer up charming and family-friendly comedy in this Fringe hit. You can also see Aaron Malkin (James) in his new show Dandelion: A Comedy About Fatherhood, while Alastair Knowles (Jamesy) offers up Ink, in which a sketched character searches for depth in his two-dimensional world.

James & Jamesy return with 2 For Tea, back for a fourth run at the Winnipeg Fringe. (Jonathan Dy)

Josephine: A smash at the 2017 and 2018 festivals, Tymisha Harris's solo show about Josephine Baker is back once again. For those who can't get enough of Baker — or Harris — look for her as well in Tymisha Harris: La Baker.

The War of 1812: This comedic romp through Canadian history, originally performed by the sadly defunct comedy troupe Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie in the 1990s, returned last year. It was popular enough in the remount that it's back for another run this year.

The War of 1812, originally presented at the fringe in the 1990s, was remounted last year. It makes a return to the festival in 2019. (Sarah Alyce Photography)

Fire in the Meth Lab: Last seen here in 2015, Australian Jon Bennett brings this "funny, compelling and surprising" story of brotherly love back to the 2019 festival.

Co-creator Shane Adamczak, left, says The Ballad of Frank Allen has been reworked after touring to other festivals since it was last seen in Winnipeg in 2017. (Paul Robinson/Weeping Spoon Productions)

The Ballad of Frank Allen: I enjoyed this weird but charming comedy when it ran at the 2017 Fringe, but creator Shane Adamczak says it's been reworked after touring the world for a couple more years.

About the Author

Joff Schmidt

CBC theatre reviewer

Joff Schmidt is a copy editor for CBC Manitoba. Since 2005, he's also been CBC Manitoba's theatre critic on radio and online. He majored in theatre at the U of M, and performed in many university and Fringe festival productions along the way (ranging from terrible to pretty good, according to the reviews). Find him on Twitter @JoffSchmidt.

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