The Ottawa Fringe Festival closes this Sunday so if you haven’t yet gone out to see a show, it is your last chance to do so. What should you see during Fringe’s last weekend? You could start with the winners of the Best in Fest award. These are the shows, which got the highest attendance during the first week of Fringe. This award means that these shows will get a bonus show at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. Best in Fest is usually a safe bet. From this list, I particularly enjoyed Rob Gee’s Fruitcake: Ten Commandments From the Psyche Ward. It’s a show that will not only make you laugh but also make you think. The writing is sharp and intelligent and Gee’s performance is solid. Go early to get a ticket for this one as it has been selling out on a regular basis.
At Fringe, there are always shows that for one reason or another slip below the radar. These shows tend to get low attendance early on, but by the end of the festival everyone is talking about them. Dying Hard by Mikaela Dyke is a show like this. The last performance is tonight (June 25) at SAW Gallery at 9:30 p.m. Dyke is unquestionably the finest actor I’ve seen this year, but more importantly she is telling a story that needs to be told. If you miss this one you will regret it. Powerful, moving, and brilliantly acted.
I’ve been hearing about shows at the beer tent and I thought I would pass this along to you. Keep in mind, that I haven’t seen these shows, but whenever four people say a show is good then I’m always eager to check it out. Here’s the buzz from the tent:
Ken Wilson’s The Interview is a new work with an award winning script that is getting lot’s of attention. An old man with a possibly failing memory is interviewed by the police. The venue is the Janigan studio (found within the Ottawa Little Theatre building).
I’ve also heard good things about May Can Theatre’s Sounds From Turtle Shell. It’s described as a comedy with a hint of charm about a rejected musical. I’m going to check this one out.
Jimmy Hogg’s one man comedy show Curriculum Vitae is getting great reviews. It’s on my list to see too.
The Fringe Festival will be over all too soon. Make sure you catch a show before it leaves town. At $10 a ticket (with a $2 Fringe pin) you can’t beat the price for quality entertainment. If you feel like talking theatre, look for me in the beer tent. I’m always interested to hear what other people think about the shows at the festival.