RE­VIEWS FROM THE FRINGE

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - GARY SMITH Gary Smith has writ­ten on theatre and dance for The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor for more than 30 years.

A psy­cho­sex­ual en­counter, an ex­per­i­ment with mu­sic and dance, a com­edy set in a log cabin and a tough no-non­sense piece about the ugly side of so­cial me­dia: that’s some of what you’ll find at The Fringe. Here’s a quick look:

Christ­mas Eve at the Julibee Mo­tel

“Christ­mas Eve at the Julibee Mo­tel” is a taut, dis­turb­ing tale of con­fused pas­sions and sex­ual de­sires that flirts with vi­o­lence.

John Ban­dler’s play, pro­duced on the Fringe in 2007, has been given a snazzy re­mount that sug­gests an enigma.

Who are these two peo­ple cir­cling each other in the lobby of a worn-out, sleazy mo­tel? What is their re­la­tion­ship? Why do they al­ways seem to be on the sur­face of some fright­en­ing dis­cov­ery? And who will walk away the win­ner in their Christ­mas Eve games?

It’s a time of peace and love for the Chris­tian world, and these two lost souls are search­ing for some kind of sal­va­tion. Silent Night plays in the back­ground.

Is this more than a chance en­counter one rainy night as Mick and Cassie play their games? What is the his­tory here?

Di­rec­tor Tom Mackan gives Ban­dler’s piece a grace­ful ebb and flow, con­nect­ing the dots in a puzzle that pur­posely doesn’t re­veal it­self com­pletely.

James Thomas and Aimee Kessler Evans as the du­elling duo give rea­son­able ac­counts of two peo­ple full of su­per­charged, height­ened emo­tion.

There could be more ten­sion and feral at­trac­tion here, some­thing more vi­cious that pro­pels this story of preda­tors loose in life’s jun­gle. See it at the Play­ers’ Guild of Hamil­ton, 80 Queen St. S., July 18 at 9:30 p.m., July 20 at 8 p.m., July 22 at 4:30 p.m. and July 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Send Mu­sic

“Send Mu­sic” is a duo of solo dance pieces that ex­plore the re­la­tion­ship

be­tween mu­sic and dance. It asks this ques­tion: How is the cre­ative re­la­tion­ship dif­fer­ent if the dancer and mu­si­cian aren’t in the same room per­form­ing to­gether?

The sec­ond piece ex­plores be­gin­nings. Me­gan English, the dancer/ chore­og­ra­pher here, has put to­gether the start­ing mo­ments of about 35 songs. She dances them con­sec­u­tively in an at­tempt to ex­plore the con­tem­po­rary at­ten­tion span. The dances shift be­tween im­pro­vi­sa­tion and or­der. Mu­sic is per­formed by Dale Morn­ingstar.

Per­formed at Fac­tory Me­dia Cen­tre, 228 James St. N., July 22 at 7:30 p.m., July 23 at 2:30 and 8:30 p.m. and July 24 at 2:30 p.m.

Mary, I’ve Got His Pants

Sharply writ­ten by David B. Fraser, beau­ti­fully di­rected by Brian Mor­ton and acted by a quar­tet of first-rate ac­tors, this is a dark yet funny play about love and mar­riage.

Chris Crack­nell and An­drea Ad­cock are su­perb as a bat­tling hus­band and wife and Gre­gory Cruik­shank and Tyler Brent pro­vide fine sup­port.

Play­ers’ Guild of Hamil­ton, 80 Queen St. S., July 18 at 6 p.m., July 19 at 9:30 p.m., July 21 at 6:30 p.m., July 23 at 9:30 p.m. and July 24 at 3 p.m.

#Dir­tyGirl

This play takes a bru­tal shot at the ugly way so­cial me­dia can in­vade lives. Why any­one would post naked pic­tures, or things they don’t want seen and read by the vi­ral world, is a bit of a mys­tery. We all know what you send out can go any­where.

In Michael Kras’s play, the dark side of the In­ter­net is ex­posed and so­cial me­dia is held up to scru­tiny. But there’s more than that here.

Lost in­no­cence, jeal­ousy, false friend­ships and early sex tell us true in­no­cence can be de­stroyed in a wicked heart­beat.

Kras’s play is ob­vi­ously a young person’s play. The is­sues, fears and trau­mas felt are ex­ac­er­bated by the fact these are youth­ful char­ac­ters strug­gling to find them­selves.

Well writ­ten, with be­liev­able di­a­logue, it’s also well-acted by Clau­dia Spadafora, Cass Van Wyck and Matthew Power.

Kras has taken pains to have his play vet­ted by women be­cause he thinks as a man he can­not feel what they do. He needn’t have both­ered. If this were true there’d be no Blanche Dubois, no Hedda Gabler, no Miss Julie and cer­tainly no El­iza Doolit­tle.

#Dirty Girl is pre­sented by Bro­ken Soil Theatre at Stair­case Café Theatre, 27 Dun­durn St. N., July 18 at 8:30 p.m., July 19 at 5:30 p.m., July 20 at 8:30 p.m., July 21 at 6:30 p.m., July 22 at 9:55 p.m., July 23 at 8:05 p.m. and July 24 at 3:45 p.m.

DAVE PIJUAN-NOMURA

Cass Van Wyck, left, and Clau­dia Spadafora in #dir­tygirl, a bru­tal look at the per­ils of so­cial me­dia.

JOHN BAN­DLER

Aimee Kessler Evans and James Thomas war­ily cir­cle each other in “Christ­mas Eve at the Julibee Mo­tel.”

JON EVANS

Chris Crack­nell, left, Gre­gory Cruik­shank, and An­drea Ad­cock in “Mary, I Have His Pants!”

VERITY CRE­ATIVE

Me­gan English in “Send Mu­sic,” a duo of solo dance pieces.

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