Ottawa Fringe 2009, Leftovers: A Dish Best Served Clammy

Posted on July 3, 2009

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It’s rainy and humid; humid and rainy. Sometimes I feel too warm; sometimes I feel too cool; I always feel vaguely wet. Dawson nailed it last night at his cottage when he said, “it’s clammy.”

I, and others, were up at the Dawson family cottage for an intense — and, I mean, intense — game of Diplomacy. Due to an unholy alliance between Russia and Turkey, German aggression went unchecked crushing Austria-Hungary, and England came from nowhere to claim victory when we all lost the will for war sometime around 3AM.

Little Italy (that’s me) played a defensive game which unhinged when its Generals forgot about a pact to split the Iberian Peninsula with France. Oops. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone outside for that breath of “fresh air.”

It’s time to catch-up and write about “Ottawa Fringe 2009, The Lost Days”.

Saturday, Day 11, began with my audition for Vision Theater’s Production of Pillow Man. It went pretty well, but I found out yesterday I did not get a part. C’est la vie.

My friends Edythe and Kelly came to see Oreo’s afternoon show and because they both express their love by providing sustenance, after the show, I had a full belly and a good beer-buzz in no time. Needless to say, they enjoyed the show.

They also saw Satanic Panic. Kelly seemed to like it but Wayne tells me Edythe didn’t enjoy it. On principle, Edythe can’t enjoy anything that implies harm to animals (and a cat is murdered off-stage) but he says she said nice things about the non-content elements of the show.

While they were watching Satanic Panic, I caught The Secret Love Life of Ophelia. Dancing on the line of being too-arty-for-arts-sake, this show is more akin to performance art or a piece of movement than theatre. Because I am friendly to both these genres of performance, I initially enjoyed the show but by the end I had lost interest.

Essentially, the play doesn’t ever really deviate from a single emotional note and there isn’t any real character development to speak of. This is caused in large part by the decision to locate Ophelia in the underworld “recollecting” the events in the play and the decision to have a character other than Hamlet play Hamlet. Even so, because the words spoken by the actors are in verse and because the narrative piggy-backs on Hamlet, die hard fans of Shakespeare might enjoy this show.

I tried again to see Countries Shaped Like Stars, arriving about an hour and twenty minutes before curtain. They were already sold out. Everyone I know who saw it loved it and it also won Best In Festival, so here’s hoping for a re-mount. Well done, Team CSLS.

Due to the strong line-up at the Festival, I had no problem finding another show to see. I strolled down to Academic Hall to catch Welcome to the Moon. This is a nice light comedy with a few moments of fine comic acting. If you like a little New York with your light comedy, you many enjoy this show.

I probably had a fairly early night because I had an audition for The Gladstone Theater’s production of The Final Twist the next morning. It went well. I know they continue to audition, so I probably won’t know until next week sometime.

Of course, the good news of the evening — as previously mentioned — was Oreo’s Best in Venue victory which got us a bonus show for Sunday night. I think Satanic Panic would have had a chance of winning if they had been more forceful in asking people to vote (final attendance: 309). The cast of Oreo, after each show, gave audience members a cookie, a ballot, and then asked them to vote for us. Brilliant ploy.

After my audition on Day 12, I think I managed to post my Day 10 post and then it was off to perform one of two Oreo shows. Both went very well.

I also managed to catch Grandpa Sol and Grandma Rosie which is a one woman show which examines one woman’s efforts to deal with her fear of aging by working in a home for the aged. This is an entertaining show which is funny and, at times, poignant. There are also some neat puppets. Worth seeing and on a national Fringe tour, so it may soon by playing at a Fringe near you.

Tonight, Team Oreo is getting together for our official post-festival “so long and thanks for the fish” celebration. It should be fun. The plan seems to be mojitos, games, and perhaps some karaoke.

In sum, I saw twenty shows, wrote 13 proper blog posts, did three volunteer shifts, billeted one Edmonton director, started one romance, and closed the Tent on many nights.

Not bad. :)

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