Thursday, June 24, 2010

Post-Fringe Withdrawal

The Montreal Fringe closing ceremonies were on Sunday night, and I think I have finally caught up on my rest! I enjoyed performing, volunteering, and (of course) watching plenty of shows. (I did not break my 2009 show attendance record, though. Darn - Maybe next year!)

I am very much looking forward to our trip the Toronto Fringe next week. I will be catching up with some old friends and, hopefully, meeting some news ones. (For now, my family is happy to see me for hours at a time, rather than as a blur who would occasionally pop in to dine with them.)

I have a few ideas for tweaks to the script to discuss with Bruce. (One benefit of having two separate runs, you can make some modifications in between!) Jane 2.0 is heading to Toronto very, very soon.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday Fringing and Everything After

I had the night "off" yesterday, so I went to check out a couple of shows by fellow solo performers:

A Trip to Coney Island With Uncle Zero Boy - What a crazy ride! Zero Boy takes you through the history of Coney Island in a wild, sound-effect filled journey! Zero Boy is a dynamic performer and it's hard to resist his crazy energy. Keep your hands inside the ride at all times and hold on!

archy and mehitabel - Jeff Culbert is a joy to watch playing a cockroach and a cat, among other creatures in this play based on the works of Don Marquis. Smart and fun.

Until next time, dear readers, I am off to flyer and do my next show!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday and Fringeability

Dear Readers,

I am sorry to have been so remiss in writing the past few days. In between performing, watching shows, volunteering and some family obligations; blogging fell to the bottom of the list.

I am feeling happy with how things are going. I have been getting some lovely Beer Tent and Net Buzz. I also ran into a woman while attending another show who recognized me and told me how much she enjoyed it!

I had shows on Tuesday and Wednesday, they were smaller houses, but very supportive and responsive – A great deal more giggling at the humourous bits and a goodly amount of smiling faces. I even received one of my greatest compliments after my Wednesday show: my 20-year-old brother, admittedly “prejudiced” against all things Jane Austen said he really enjoyed himself!

On Wednesday night / Thursday morning I was also invited to be on The 13th Hour – The Fringe’s 1 a.m. live talk show. Since I appeared on the “Fast Show” I only had two minutes to use. I chose to (humourously) summarize the morals of all of Jane Austen’s novels in under 45 seconds. (I earned quite a few laughs with that bit!)

I have been putting in some shifts at the advance box office and at Fringe HQ. I do it because it’s fun and a great way to meet people. (Seeing shows for free is nice, too!) A huge festival like the Montreal Fringe needs it volunteers to keep things running and to help keep prices affordable. (Are you interested in volunteering this weekend? Contact Volunteer Coordinator Nadege at or 514-849-0069 - and she’ll find you a job!)

I also managed to squeeze in a few shows, of course. (Not as many as I would like, but isn’t that always the way?).

So far, I’ve managed to catch:

Misadventures of a Massage Therapist – Every job can have its wacky stories. Massage therapist seems to be a magnet for the wacky, however. The show is an amusing hour of stories, but not for the very squeamish.

Wide Load – A brainy, sassy cabaret with songs, dance and free cookies – Works for me! Boston’s Big Moves returns to Montreal with a show about breaking down societal biases and fostering body acceptance – They make it fun, of course. (Please note, the show advisory is no bluff, you will indeed see a lady in the altogether.)

The Further Adventures of Antoine Feval – Chris Gibbs returns with more laughs as he plays Barnaby Gibbs, a slightly dim gentleman who narrates his adventures with the “great” detective Antoine Feval. Probably the most laughter-filled show I’ve seen so far.

Fruitcake – A poetic, funny and sad look at being a psychiatric nurse: Meet the patients and the staffers who try to their best under very difficult and sometimes ridiculous circumstances.

Farewell, for now, I am going to sit down and finish scheduling the rest of my weekend. (So many shows and volunteer shifts - so little time!)


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Afternoon and After

Consarn it, I didn't get to Big Moves' Pancake Breakfast after all! (And caffeine and carbs are two of my favourite food groups!)

However, I did catch a few shows before and after mine:

The Dirty Little Spoons: Feels like the first time - Some naughty, all-lady sketch. It was a delicious blend of live scenes and video as well as some sassy musical numbers. (I now have the "Dr. Stevens" song stuck in my head.)

Uncalled For: Hypnogogic Logic - Family-friendly all-gent sketch inspired by the world of dreams. So, so intelligent and funny - I had a great time and my fellow audience members seemed delighted, too!

I had my second show after that. It was a smaller group today, but I still had friendly faces to talk to. I was also glad to see a gentleman of my acquaintance in the audience who dressed for the occasion in a lovely long red skirt. (See? Some people still dress up for the theatre! :))

After that, I checked out 7 (x1) Samurai in which David Gaines tells the story of the "Seven Samurai" - By himself - With only a couple of masks and few words of English. If you're info clowning, mime or just want some great entertainment, check it out!

To close out the evening, I saw Dance Animal: Freaks of Nature - I loved their show last year and loved it again this year. It's a tasty mix of comic dance numbers and scripted vignettes - Infectious, irresistible fun!

Good night, I'd better head off to bed - I have more Fringing to do tomorrow!


Premieres and Performances

Yesterday (Saturday) was our opening show. I was very excited and we had about 45 people. I was pleased to see many of them smiling and nodding during the performance - Always encouraging to a performer!

After a bit of post-show chilling at the beer tent, I finally started seeing shows: First, creamy improvisational goodness from METEOR (with Sean Michaels, Marc Rowland and B.J. Walsh). It's probably the funniest longform improv you'll ever see about an impending apocalypse. (Also, audience members also get things to throw at the performers - How cool is that?)

After that I checked out my Venue 7-mates production of Shades of Grey - If you like the spooky twists and turns of The Twilight Zone this is the show for you! Also, the cast and all the props and costumes are in grayscale - Which helps to give it that retro-creepy feel. There are three vignettes - I enjoyed them all, particularly the second one: Some small-time crooks get more than they bargained for after they break into a curio store. (It was great balance between funny and freaky.)

And now, my gentle readers, I am off to Big Moves' Pancake Breakfast. Then I plan see a couple of shows, performing my show at 6:30 (it's free for Fringe volunteers!) and, hopefully watching a few more after that. See you at the beer tent!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Postering & Possibilities

Good Day,

Today was an important one in Fringe Preparations - Postering Day! At 6 p.m., the gates to the Fringe Park  (Rachel & St-Laurent) swung open as attention-hungry artists swarmed in to poster every available surface! In less than an hour, fences, benches, tabletops and portaloos were covered in advertising material.

Bruce is a postering ninja, thanks to his stint last year with the advertising masters of Cobra III - We (along with my fellow postering padawan Marina) set up some large panels of several posters across and down to create an impressive Jane Austen tessellation. (We managed to snag a nice spot near the box office for it!)

(I will put up a picture of the poster, once I get it in a blog-friendly format - Why won't you upload my pdf, Blogger? Why?)

Of course, the beer tent in the park is open now, as well, so it is a great chance to hang out with other artists, volunteers and Fringe junkies and start deciding on what shows to see. (There are so many! My top wanna-see shows so far are: Shades of Grey, Miss Sugarpuss Must Die!, The Further Adventures of Antoine Feval and Dance Animal.)

I managed to see 25 shows last year - I am aiming to break my record!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Fringe-for-All & Photography

Good Day Gentle Readers,

Fringe time is approaching! As promised, here a couple of photos of our Fringe-for-All presentation on Monday, May 31, 2010. (Courtesy of my multi-tasking director Bruce.)

Thanks again to Heather Huff for being my substitute Jane Austen and to my friendly neighbourhood zombie horde.

Fear not, gentle readers, as Jane Austen has defeated the advancing zombies they shall not intrude upon her show. (Though there will be gratuitous tea-drinking and occasional flashes of ankle.)
And, of course, here is our presentation is all 640x385 Youtube glory (courtesy of the swell folks at Montreal Fringe Festival). Enjoy!

Having trouble seeing the embedded version? Please follow this link:


(Photo credit: Bruce Lambie)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fringe-for-All Festivities

Monday was the Montreal Fringe-for-All. Interested companies each get two minutes to sell their show in any way they choose.

For those who have never been to the Montreal FFA, let me tell you a little more about it: It take place in a cavernous space, CafĂ© Campus, full of fun-loving, raucous folks who most likely have been drinking beverages far more potent than tea. There are literally dozens of shows going up one after another. Unless you’re doing something really flashy or memorable, just doing a two-minute extract from you show can be dreadfully dull indeed.

I knew going up and performing a brief scene from the play or a dramatic reading from Pride and Prejudice was certainly not going to cut it. So, I decided to get creative and had Jane Austen indulge in a little light-hearted zombie mayhem. The goal was to poke a fun at the current trend for Austen/Monster mash-ups (such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and make it clear there were no zombies in the final show. (Really. There aren’t. Honest! I tried to find a way to put some in, but it just didn’t feel right.)

Was it sensationalistic and shameless? Probably. Was it memorable? Yes! Many thanks to my hardworking director, Bruce Lambie, who took my concept and ran with it. (His music editing and zombie coaching skills are par excellence!) Also thanks to Heather Huff who stood in as Jane Austen (I was unable to attend the event due to a prior engagement). Additional thanks to Jeremy Hechtman (for loaning us his exquisite faux machine gun) and the shambling members of my zombie horde.

Did it work? Well, we did get a mention from Pat Donnelly in The Gazette today (Thanks!):

I also noticed she made a brief pre-zombie mention of our title on Saturday (Supplementary thanks!):

I will upload some pictures and the FFA YouTube video when they become available.