The 32nd annual Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival kicked off this past Friday with a wealth of shows to see. We couldn’t hit up every single show, but here are a few we were lucky enough to catch.
Space Ladies From Planet Elvis
Reviewed by Brnesh Berhe
“I walk along a thin line darling
Dark shadows follow me
Here’s where life’s dream lies disillusioned
The edge of reality.”
Elvis Presley’s “Edge of Reality” kicks off Capital City Burlesque first Fringe show, “Space Ladies from Planet Elvis”, which features a soundtrack from the King himself.
The MC of the night, Chester Dangles, (who may just have the most impressive mustache at the festival) guides us on a trip around the world, where the ladies shake, tease, and dance their way from Germany to the South Pacific. Adorned in beautiful headpieces, flowery skirts, and itty bitty pasties, the troop balances sexy and cheeky for the packed crowd at the Starlite Room.
The only downside is in the setup of the stage; if you’re not sitting in the first few rows it can be a bit hard to see everything going on, but that didn’t stop the packed crowd on opening night from giving the show a standing ovation at the end.
The show also includes a guest appearance by Les Trois Femmes, a tribal fusion dance troop who do a couple belly dancing numbers in the show.
So make sure you get to the venue early if you want the best possible “Space Ladies” experience.
Happy Whackin’ Jim McCrackin is one of the most interesting theatre experiences at the Fringe.
William Banfield plays the title role of Jim McCrackin, a ruthless hitman who loves his mother and has a weird fear of cats. Victoria, played by Amanda Blair, is Jim’s cold-hearted and sultry boss, while Cliff Kelly rounds out the cast doing double-duty as a renegade cop and his missing twin brother.
The uniqueness of this production comes in the seamless transition between stage and screen, leaving the audience so engaged in both the characters and the execution of the play’s special effects.
Combining classic noir acting with 70s action movie violence (reminiscent of the Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage”), Happy Whackin is a comedic take on the classic tale of betrayal and revenge, with a solid storyline to boot. There’s no denying why this is such a festival favorite.
Reviewed by Becky Hagan-Egyir
When Chase Padgett walks onto the stage in the Strathcona Library he assumes the roles of four entertaining characters who demonstrate that fame comes at a cost. Chase reveals Nashville Hurricane’s transition from a fragile Southern boy who’s scared of the world, to a confident, intelligent young man, who learns that the world has a lot to offer.
This musical genius’s story is told in a documentary fashion through all four characters – Nashville Hurricane himself, his mother, his manager, and his mentor. The show is funny and honest, without being overbearingly serious, and allows audience members to engage individually with each character.
Chase’s own musical abilities shown through his guitar playing also make the play remarkable, but performing more than two songs would have strengthened the entertainment of the production.
For showtimes, check out https://tickets.fringetheatre.ca/Default.aspx?tagid=0