THE OTTAWA FRINGE FESTIVAL
June 19 – 29
RUBY KNOCKERS, 1 JADED DICK: A DIRK DARROW INVESTIGATION by Tim Motley – Melbourne, Australia The one liners and double entendres come fast and furious, so pay attention. Tim Motley is Australian, pulling off a wise-guy accent in an echo chamber (the unfortunate St. Paul’s Church); so strict attention must be paid. The jokes are corny, but when delivered in machine gun, rapid fire doses, work well as the crowd tries frantically to keep pace. Motley’s gumshoe is reminiscent of Firesign Theatre’s bumbling private investigator Nick Danger, but this dick also dabbles in Kreskin style card tricks. Yes, it’s also a mind blowing mentalist show. Perfectly executed with just the right amount of audience interaction, Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick is an enjoyable hour of silliness and wonder.
CHASE & STACEY PRESENT: JOYRIDE By Chase Padgett & Stacey Hallal – Portland, USA Joyride indeed. Sketch comedy, especially when some improv is thrown in, can be a theatrical gamble of massive proportions. Chase Padgett and Stacey Hallal have the necessary chemistry, chops and energy to pull it off. With very little in the way of props, Joyride feels like a big production thanks to stark lighting, fast paced edits, and some catchy music. If that sounds like Saturday Night Live, well, that might be a good analogy. It’s over before you know it, and that means it’s good (even the improv works …. and I loathe improv).
NEVER OWN ANYTHING YOU HAVE TO PAINT OR FEED By Howard Petrick – San Francisco, USA Solo storytelling under hot lights is a tough gig, and Howard Petrick is fairly new to theatre, coming in quite late in life, but that might actually give him an advantage. He may not be slick, polished, or enrapturing, but when Petrick recounts his tales of tough life survival by hoboes, draft dodgers, activists, alcoholics and freight train hoppers, it rings true. Skid row comes to life when presented by someone who was actually there, and Petrick’s stories linger long after the curtain closes.
THE SURPRISE By Martin Dockery – Brooklyn, USA Fringe regular Martin Dockery brings another outlandish true life tale as only he can: told at breakneck speed, animated wildly with his spindly body, full of ridiculous plot twists, peppered with crazy comedic moments, and held together by an underlying, self-realization moment. This one involves various levels of children relationships: a couple on the tight wire timeline of the big “having kids” decision, a difficult father and son conflict fueled by an explosive revelation, and an only child who finds himself not so only. Martin brings everything full circle in a brilliant conclusion that seems too perfect not to be scripted. Spend an hour with Martin and he becomes an old friend, and it’s only natural to shake his eager hand on the way out.
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