This show written by Colleen Brow, at Studio 16, in the beginning felt like a very TEDtalk or radio show feel to it, (Colleen Also has done radio for CBC, so it makes sense she has the voice and presence of a radio host) Colleen had good presence and well-spoken, which in theatre feels out of place somehow? It didn’t feel like theatre. It felt very polished and professional, which for a fringe show, seemed odd and different, good different, yes, but still strange.
The material and subject was not in my realm, as it was about getting older and being at their midlife point as a woman, who is married and has children, and I’m a queer two-spirited woman, who doesn’t ever want children and doesn’t relate to the whole Uterus=woman. But as most shows, they write what they know and it was done well. It had some very funny somewhat relatable jokes, but a lot fell for me simply because of age gap and experiences.
The one thing I really related to was using laughter to get through tough times, I definitely enjoyed the openness of artists and being vulnerable while also being lighthearted and playful about life and death.
~ reviewed by Michelle Williams
I'm not a camper, so I was interested to hear about the humorous mishaps that can happen with a newbie to camping. The dynamic between the two actors was funny, if predictable. Good lighthearted entertainment. Appropriate for young children.
~ reviewed by Karen Flynn
This show before going I assumed it would be like most of the other magic shows, they show their tricks and do a big finale at the end, and possibly do a trick that has something to do with rabbits (because of the the title) and be super amazing and knock my socks off.
After watching the show, it was more or less what I thought it was but better. There was a lot of wit, sass and quick comments on how the audience should react to a trick, which worked well, when trying to get the audience lively and energetic. I thoroughly enjoyed Ben’s sass throughout the show, as the audience wasn’t super big or wouldn't catch the end of a trick or where to clap, so his sassy comments really helped and were quite funny for me. I enjoy some sass. There was a trick in which he uses a prop that relates to the show, but best to see it than have me spoil the fun. His layout of set and props was obvious but still kept secrets and hidden treasures which played an important role when wanting to show his next trick. I loved the pre-show music, that added to the tongue in cheek effect, as the pre-show music was The Muppets, doing covers, and making snide comments on the people watching, and what’s going throughout the show, like Statler and Waldorf.
The downside was the lack of audience members and the audience wanting to participate, which can end a show if the artist doesn’t bring all the energy to the room. It takes a lot of effort to keep the audience interested even when they weren’t interested in the first place, or slightly unsure of how to act. Ben was almost there but at times it dropped when the trick wasn’t clear enough. Overall I enjoyed and hope he gains more audiences.
Ben Price Magic Presents Rabbit Stew is playing at Studio 16 September 6 - 16, as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Michelle Williams
Reggae music soothed the Studio 16 Theatre as fringers trickled in at the Sunday, September 9th showing of Eric Jaffe’s C-. How appropriately college, I thought, recalling my own undergrad years with equal parts nostalgia and nausea.
C- is a one-man show written and performed by Eric Jaffe. Inspired by 65 interviews conducted with former fraternity brothers, as well as Jaffe’s own experiences, it is a story about life spent floundering in and out of college.
Jaffe is an entertaining performer and compelling storyteller. Speaking to him after his performance (I found him humble and gracious), I confessed my doubts going into the show. “How am I, a millennial woman, going to relate to the stories of these older men?” A middle-aged man who went to school in the 80s in the southern United States, Jaffe and I couldn’t be more different. Yet! I related to his stories of academia-acquired disappointment and confusion (ones that haunt me to this day). But despite many real moments of resonance, C- is also a show about male disillusionment. The vignettes were often punctuated by misogynist jokes and expressions of white male privilege, which, like the frat bros depicted, haven’t aged well.
C- is playing at Studio 16 September 6 - 16 as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Reija Jean
The Bridge was a beautifully crafted script. While it is initially humorously situated, the dark undertones gradually take hold of the plot until the reality of a post-apocalyptic future breaks through. The whimsical elements of the show engage and mislead the audience into thinking this may be a happy story.
I’ve never seen a dystopian setting like this on a stage before. This is a show that belongs on Netflix- one of those discoveries you binge watch, cry about when it’s over, and then inflict on your friends through constant reference until they watch it too. It is relevant and poignant (a word I enjoy writing, because it’s so hard to speak).
The Bridge by Green Eggs and Ham is playing at Studio 16 September 6 - 16 as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Annina Engelbrecht
La Palabra en el Tiempo translates to ‘a word in time’, and this captures perfectly the way spoken word and Flamenco dance merge into this high energy piece.
At times hypnotizing, the lead dancer Denise Yeo is one of those artists that’s so skilled in her technique that she’s able to move and play with the limits of the Flamenco forms. She flexes this expertise by using physical theatre to act out the accompanying poetry with the best sort of wild and silly dramatic movements.
On the other hand, I found the poetry of Garth Martens too abstract in its form to detect any real story. Instead, it only served to distract and break up the flow of dancing in a way that I personally found grating. I think the fragmented and emotional words he lumped together were likely an attempt to mimic the emotional non-form of the strains of Andalucian gypsy languages spoken traditionally by Flamenco dancers as an element of the lyrics sung along with this form of dance. However, this needed to be clearer, and didn’t work for me.
The singing was exceptional, and the guitarist really stood out as well. The costuming was wonderful as well.
I recommend attending with an open mind, letting go of your perceptions of how Flamenco should perform itself and instead let your mind wander into the infectious rhythms, melodies and music of this Fringe- worthy piece.
La Palabra En El Tiempo is playing at Studio 16 as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Elizabeth Goode
Cocky is a show about trigonometry as much as it is about catholicism. Which it is neither. Cocky is a storyteller that explicitly recounts moments of her childhood. These memories along with descriptions of her various immediate family members allow audience members to realize how childhood experiences, however seemingly insignificant, can shape the thoughts and feelings of a child.
Touching on subjects such as alcoholism, death, divorce and religion, none of these specifically take the forefront but rather leave you with remnants of thoughts just as it seems to have for the storyteller. As much as Beth McLaughlin captures your attention with her storytelling ability she neglects to leave you with any closure, but perhaps that is her intent.
Cocky by Beth McLaughlin is playing at Studio 16 September 6 - 16 as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Karen Roller
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