My 4-hour Fringe shift started with picking up all the garbage on the ground in Market Square — let me tell you about my newfound lack of respect for smokers later — then back to parking patrol. But it was most entertaining because i was right alongside the Kids’ Fringe open stage, and watched the Aussie acrobats, the Story Fairy (okay, not my cuppa), and the people from drumcafe.com (including the Amazon with the shekere, with whom i was enraptured at a drum circle here in Winnipeg two winters ago; alas, she still doesn’t know i exist).
Then it was playtime. Only two today because (a) it’s Saturday and was packed, and (b) i’m getting seriously short of sleep, what with the early-morning shifts and the late nights. Seen:
- Inflatable Buddha — bigger than Jesus — a travelling British band (mandolin, stand-up bass, harmonica, sax, drums) and spoken-word troupe. Great title, but a lacklustre show, i’m afraid. The performance poetry was repetitive, with little in the way of surprising ideas or images. Even the klezmer pieces didn’t have much life to them (and that’s a talent). The lady bassist’s solo ballad was the high point of a show marred by way, way too much rambling dialogue, which i note seems to be a common Fringe indulgence. When i do my Fringe play it’s going to be nonstop action. Others seemed to like it, though. Punters.
- Mating Rituals of the Urban Cougar — a pure-as-wine spoken-word piece by Toronto’s (ex Vancouver’s) Andrea Thompson. Black stage, one stool, one women — that’s guts. Poor title, i thought, but the show … goose bumps! A testament to the power that lies hidden in story, for those able to evoke it.
Personal tales, slammy poetry, a capella song, perspicacious social observation. So good i bought a CD, and felt my life take a slight left turn. Check out Juicy on her MySpace page. I will put her in contact with PRAS for a possible show at the Tofino’s community theatre. A venue that sold out seven shows of the Vagina Monologues can hold Cougar Andy for a night or two.
Sleep. Must sleep!