“Ludicrously entertaining” and at the heart of Fringehood: Gordon’s Big Bald Head, a guest 12thnight Fringe review by Todd Babiak

Gordon’s Big Bald Head: New World Hors d’oeuvres. Photo supplied

Gordon’s Big Bald Head: New World Hors d’oeuvres (Stage 12, Nordic Studio Theatre)

It’s mysterious why Edmonton and its promotional machines have not sold the Fringe Festival more passionately outside the city’s borders. This local invention is the biggest and baddest on the continent, yet it still feels as small and strange and dirty as ever: a perfect expression of what the city and its people do best.

Word-of-mouth is cheaper, of course, and in recent years it has worked. Our basement is crammed with visitors every year, and the one show I always insist on, for first-timers, is Gordon’s Big Bald Head.

This is not news to anyone who has ever been to the Edmonton Fringe. Nearly every performance sells out, for good reason. One of the city’s finest cultural outputs is the professional improviser and here we have three of them.

Mark Meer and Jacob Banigan perform around the world. The third member in their crew, Chris Craddock, has been replaced this year by the brilliant Ron Pederson — another Edmontonian who has been discovered by global audiences.

None of the genius of the show has been lost with the personnel change. As always, they choose a Fringe show at random, read the description, and improvise it.

Is it different? Yes, it is. The good new is: it’s still the ludicrously entertaining Gordon’s Big Bald Head.

Todd Babiak







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