by Kat Fournier, Laurie Fyffe, Barbara Gray, Patrick Langston, Maja Stefanowska, Alvina Ruprecht, Iris Winston and Jamie Portman
Scroll down on the web site for the reviews..
As of June 26, 2 014 36 plays reviewed, many more SEEN, several reviewed twice
total reviews 45 and more coming.
Portable #3 3 reviews J. Portman, I.Winston , A. Ruprecht
Chase and Stacey present Joy Ride 2 reviews J. Portman, I.Winston
Immolation 1 review by A.Ruprecht..
Can’t Argue With Pussy 1 review by Maja Stefanowska
Wunderjammer 1 review A.Ruprecht
Immolation 1 review A. Ruprecht
Kitt and Jane 2 reviews Kat Fournier, A.Ruprecht
Great Battles of History 1 review Alvina Ruprecht
High Tide 1 review Alvina Ruprecht
Never own anything you have to paint or feed 1 review Alvina Ruprecht
Iredea 1 review Alvina Ruprecht
Mr and Mrs Jones 1 review P. Langston
Othello 1 review Kat Fournier
A Mind Full of Dopamine 2 reviews. Patrick Langston, Laurie Fyffe
The City that Eats You 1 review P.Langston
First Words 1 review Maja Stefanowska
Moonlight after Midnight 1 review Kat Fournier
Burnt at the Steak 3 reviews P. Langston, A. Ruprecht, I. Winston
Cupidity 1 review M. Stefanowska
The Surprise 2 reviews P. Langston A.Ruprecht
Eclipse 1 review K. Fournier
Wasteland Radio 1 review M.Stefanowska
A Universal Guide to Loving Your Shadow 1 review L. Fyffe
Poe Show 1 review A. Ruprecht
Getting Through ‘1 review M. Stefanowska
Dont Tell My Dad 1 review M. Stefanowska
First Words 1 review M. Stefanowska
Oceans Apart 2 reviews A Ruprecht, L. Fyffe
Kavaliers Curiosity 1 review K. Fournier
Women Who Shout At Stars 2 reviews L. Fyffe, P. Langston
Against Gravity 1 Review P. Langston
Stories of Davey Punk P. Langston
Einstein 2 reviews A. Ruprecht, P. Langston
Paco V Put to Sleep. 4 reviews A. Ruprecht, P. Langston, I. Winston, J. Portman
Who Killed Gertrude Crump 2 reviews A. Ruprecht, P.Langston
I found so little joy in the first two skits in this joyride that I left for greener pastures and another show- one of the great escapes offered by a Fringe festival.
A great disappointment after Chase Padgett’s fine showing last year in 6 Guitars.
Venue: Arts Court theatre
Chase and Stacey Present Joyride.
Stacey Hallal, Portland, USA
Two fourteen year old misfits have hijacked a school assembly during their presentation on wild salmon, and are holding the audience hostage while they spell out society’s upcoming demise. The two characters – Kitt and Jane – are clown-like in their representation of these pseudo-activist, young teenagers. An interactive sing-along, horseplay, and shadow puppetry contribute to the illusion that this is a youthful, home-sprung environmental mission, but poor enunciation and a dragging pace overwhelm the experience. There were a number of problems with this production, not the least of which was that both the plot and the characters were scattered and inconsistent. A series of disjointed vignettes, meant to showcase their child-like approach to the apocalypse, end up falling flat. The narrative is unnecessarily long and meanders around a number of themes, but never fully develops them. It could be shortened to help address the laborious pace. This play hovers somewhere between environmental activism and character-driven comedy, but commits to neither.
The Surprise is a beautiful work of theatrical art. Inspired by Dockery’s relationship with his father he brings his whole body into play as he tells and shows us how deeply emotional relationships develop with people who are close to him. A fine, subtle and accomplished performer, he constructs a scenario that flows faultlessly to a conclusion that we did not expect. From one surprise to the next.
A performance genius in our midst!
It plays at the ODD arts court.
The Surprise Performed and written by Martin Dockery
Also watch for Moonlight after Midnight
A study in inertia that tips its hat to Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Edward Albee, Paco P. Put to Sleep manages to maintain interest in what doesn’t happen when “somebody should do something.” It just will never be done by any of the (intentionally) sluggish characters on stage.
Ambitious, amusing and interesting for lovers of Theatre of the Absurd.
Plays at Arts Court Theatre
Paco P. Put to Sleep
By Martin Dockery
Black Sheep Theatre, Ottawa
Venue: Arts Court Theatre
High Tide performed by Morgan Johnson
A poetic, near mystical experience of bonding with the sea and the earth in general, this performance presents the work and the person of Rachel Carson, who launched environmental thinking in the 1960’s
The actress appears to be someone who does not have too much experience but it’s the words that are important and they make you want to learn more about Carson. As a performance, it might have benefitted from some images of the sea projected somewhere on that space that seemed so large and high with a single performer but luckily it only lasts 45 minutes and that is perfect.
A flight into transcendence and a moment of calm in all the frenzy of the Fringe.
Plays at the ODD box in Arts Court.
Great Battles in History
Performed and written(?) by Mark Shyzer
If one knows German, the family name of this fellow could be problematic but no matter. This is the perfect Fringe anti-theatre where Jeff mumbles, fumbles, works his way through a musical performance that was meant to be but doesn’t quite make it because the people involved haven’t turned up, and in any case Jeff the narrator, director, actor can’t play the Ukulele, can’t sing and he hates musicals. An event that appears to deconstruct theatre (musical theatre really) by giving us a slightly campy vision of the great battles of history and singing songs off key to highlight those moments. Actually, this is not about history, its about theatre and mainly about Jeff’s transgressive vision of the world who tells us he doesn’t need all these established models because he has new ones and doesn’t have to find evasion in those soppy heroic romantic performances that musicals and historical narratives usually are. He has his own models and he is fine because he knows exactly who he is. All kidding aside, that is a lot more profound than you could imagine. Clever and annoying!
Plays at Arts Court
Martin Dockery, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Reviewed for the Ottawa Citizen
The Story: Martin Dockery – who’s lightened our lives with Wanderlust, The Bike Trip, in years past- rockets through another true-life adventure in his usual riveting storytelling style. This time it’s rooted in his trip to Vietnam and Cambodia to meet for the first time his two Vietnamese siblings, both decades younger than he. The story is a series of surprises, none more memorable than the wrenching conclusion.
Pros: Dockery’s gifts, here in full flight, include not just an extraordinary sense of dramatic pacing but an eye for character, place and the funny or poignant or just unexpected element in an otherwise unremarkable event. This tale of family, love, other cultures and our essential aloneness in life feels as true as anything he’s ever done.
Cons: Dockery’s high-energy shows can be exhausting, but who’s complaining?
The Story An Italian raised in Texas decides to stake a claim in New York City show business. Since she needs to work while awaiting her big break, she lands a job as manager of a high-end steak house, providing the fodder for Carolann Valentino’s first-class, true-life, one-woman musical about following your dreams and the idiots who clutter the highway between you and your goal.
Pros Valentino, a firecracker of a performer, sinks her teeth into the audience as though it were a prime rib steak and never lets go. Her parade of characters – a ditzy hostess, obnoxious customers, a clueless fellow manager – are boldly delineated, and you feel as though you’ve been given a ringside seat in this restaurant where dysfunctional humanity is the main course. Valentino also serves up terrific songs including a funny and lewd variation on Moon River.
Cons What there are don’t matter.
Burnt at the Steak
Carolann Valentino Productions, New York City
The Story: What do most of us know about Albert Einstein other than that he had crazy hair and dreamed up some incomprehensible stuff about relativity? Deciding that we need to know more, Jack Fry created his one-man show about Einstein’s personal life and valiant struggle to prove that his calculation about energy and mass was accurate. Too bad Fry gets so badly sidetracked in the execution of what started as a good idea.
Pros: Fry does manage to explain, in simple terms and with the help of projections on a large screen, the theory of relativity.
Cons: They’re manifold, from silly sex jokes to Fry’s failed, over-the-top attempt to play with anything approaching conviction his main character let alone the host of others – from fellow scientists to Einstein’s alienated son Hans – whom he introduces. The show is too long, self-regarding and unnecessary.
Verdict : An overwrought, sophomoric look at human complexity.
Jack Fry, Los Angeles, Calif.