REVIEWS FROM THE FRINGE
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” 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.
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.
Cass Van Wyck, left, and Claudia Spadafora in #dirtygirl, a brutal look at the perils of social media.
Aimee Kessler Evans and James Thomas warily circle each other in “Christmas Eve at the Julibee Motel.”
Chris Cracknell, left, Gregory Cruikshank, and Andrea Adcock in “Mary, I Have His Pants!”
Megan English in “Send Music,” a duo of solo dance pieces.