Getting intrigued: further thoughts on what to see at Destination Fringe

Geoffrey Simon Brown and Émanuel Dubbeldam in Re:Construct, RISER 2022. Photo by Brianne Jang

By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca

Every life coach (and no travel agent) will tell you it’s not the destination but the journey. But it’s also the Destination, since that’s the moniker of this year’s Fringe. 

The exploration is yours, my friends. That’s the whole point (and since we’re immersed in the Destination metaphor, we all know the risks of Trip Advisor). But, to get yourself started, did you have a peek at 12thnight’s selection of intriguing prospects here? And there’s this: in the 164-show lineup at Destination Fringe, there are shows I’ve seen before and enjoyed — during the season, or at previous Fringes. They may well be adjusted, re-worked, re-drafted by now; artists are congenital tinkerers with their own work. Really, it’s what they do, and art never stands still. But here’s a sample of half a dozen shows for your consideration.

Geoffrey Simon Brown and Émanuel Dubbeldam in Re:Construct, RISER Edmonton 2022. Photo by bb collective.

Re:Construct. This fun, insightful, theatrically inspired two-hander created by playwright/designer Even Gilchrist, is a celebration of Self (with cake!). It’s a diary of sorts, funny and poignant, in which a trans man revisits and embraces his youthful self in the company of an idealized cis alter-ego. It also embraces the audience. It premiered in April, as part of RISER Edmonton’s 2022 series. Check out the 12thnight review here. 

The Disney Delusion. A winning combination of stand-up and theatre propels this very funny solo show by and starring Leif Oleson-Cormack. The rueful, knowing, older Leif reviews a disastrous adventure by the naive younger Leif, designed with the blatant ulterior motive of landing the man of his dreams and quickly devolving into chaos. A repository of wince-laughs. It was at last summer’s Together We Fringe. My review is here.

Mi Habana Querida, Cuban Movements Dance Academy. Photo supplied.

Mi Habana Querida. An explosion of colour, costumes, irresistible music, sexy  moves in this cultural survey of Cuba in a dance musical through a Romeo and Juliet lens (the star-cross’d lovers are an American and a Cuban divided by the Revolution). Cuban Movements Dance Academy brought it to the 2021 Fringe. The 12thnight review is here.

Juliet: A Revenge Comedy. A mostly new cast this time for the Monster Theatre production of a clever, witty play in which Juliet pries herself from the Shakespeare tragedy where she has to die at 13 for love of a guy she met oh, you know, a couple of days before at a party. She and a couple of other of the Bard’s doomed heroines confront their maker. It was at the Fringe, with co-playwrights Ryan Gladstone and Pippa Mackie in the cast, in 2019. The 12thnight review is here.  

Candice Roberts in LARRY. Photo by Kristine Cofsky

Larry. Candice Roberts is fearless in this very funny solo show, a satire of old-school macho dude-ism. The title dude has gotten wind of a new thing, self-improvement. And this show is his entry point into the artsy foreign world of … showbiz. It was at the Fringe in 2019. Check out the 12thnight review here. 

Are you loving’ it?. Perfectly bonkers. I didn’t see this kooky quintessentially Fringe-y show from Osaka’s Theatre Group GUMBO in 2019. But 12thnight guest reviewer Alan Kellogg appreciated its barrage of theatrical weirdness. Check out his review here. 

  

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