Fringe finds: 8 'under the radar' picks to put on your list for the final Winnipeg Fringe weekend

Fringe faves like Chase Padgett, Monster Theatre and Bossy Flyer all have great shows — but you’ll be lining up to get into their shows. If you’re looking for picks a bit more under the radar, here are a few shows the CBC review crew recommends.

Ghostly tales to goofy spy comedy: here are some quality shows you should still be able to get a ticket to

Mark Kunji Ikeda's Sansei: The Storyteller is 'a timely story presented in a uniquely beautiful style,' and a good pick for the final weekend of the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. (Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo)

As the final weekend of the 32nd annual Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is upon us, audiences will be lining up to see some of the biggest names at this year's festival.

Sure, Fringe faves like Chase Padgett, Jem Rolls, Monster TheatreBossy Flyer and Mike Delamont all have great shows — but audiences know that, so you'll be looking at lining up to get into their shows.

If you're looking for some picks that are a little more under the radar, here are a few shows the CBC review crew recommends that maybe haven't quite generated the buzz they deserve.

As of Thursday, you could still get final weekend advance tickets for any of these shows. (You can check the Fringe festival's website to find out if the advance tickets are sold out — and even if they are, there are always some tickets available at the door if you line up early enough.)

13 Dead Dreams of "Eugene": Don't let this show, which I called "a tasty treat for fans of the macabre," get lost in the shuffle of spooky shows at this year's festival.

13 Dead Dreams of 'Eugene' is a spine-tingling treat. (Dan Winters/Theatre Mobile)

Alabama Monster: Trey Tatum offers a beautiful piece of storytelling that "transports his audience with lyrical, visceral prose to the sick and sultry South," says reviewer Michelle Palansky.

The Cause: A "gem of a comedy," this spy send-up is highlighted by big, bold comedic performances, says reviewer Andrew Friesen. "The jokes are unending and come at an impressive clip."

Diary of a Monster Kid: ImproVision's Alan MacKenzie offers up this great bit of creepy nostalgia for anyone who grew up as a monster-lover in the '70s. "Think A Christmas Story, but with Halloween," says the review crew's Kelly Stifora.

Alan MacKenzie's Diary of a Monster Kid delivers a great bit of creepy nostalgia. (Submitted by Magic Toaster Productions)

Dion Arnold: How I Killed My Nan: "You won't find a show about death that's funnier than Dion Arnold's at this year's festival," I said in my four-star review. He spins the story of his grandmother's decision to seek an assisted death into "an hour of spot-on standup comedy, painting a lovingly detailed picture of the woman who was feisty, funny and intent on living life — and dying — on her own terms."

Heart of Stone: Winnipeg's Hailey Rhoda had a winner last year with her puppet retelling of the story of Medea, and she's got another this year with her take on Medusa. "A performance that is raw, timely and a total knockout" makes this show worth seeking out in the less-than-ideal venue in Forth's basement.

Candice Roberts is 'a fearless performer who puts herself out there — quite literally — and her physical humour is on point' in her show, Larry. (Submitted by Candy Bones Theatre)

Larry: Candice Roberts is "a fearless performer who puts herself out there — quite literally — and her physical humour is on point," Marlo Campbell said in her review of the show. "Fans of Andy Kaufman or Sacha Baron Cohen will probably find her hilarious. I understood the intent but didn't really enjoy the experience," she said — but if that's your type of humour, it may be worth adding Larry to your list.

Sansei: The Storyteller: Mark Kunji Ikeda's "surprisingly humorous and tenderly beautiful story about his family history" is hard to pin down — part storytelling, part dance but completely engrossing, I said in my review. "It's a timely story presented in a uniquely beautiful style."

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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