Well, Ottawa, we are now Fringe Festival minus 17 days. The full program of the 60 shows running over the ten day festival (June 19th through 29th) is currently online at ottawafringe.com for your viewing and planning pleasure. (Though the hard copies seem notoriously hard to come by. I could even find any at Arts Court yesterday. Anybody know where they’re hiding them?)
The eight days before the festival, we’re going to highlight some of On Stage’s picks for the Fringe Festival, publishing a bit of a write-up for one show each day June 11th through 17th. Then, on the 18th, we’ll be publishing a longer preview with smaller blurbs on a lot more shows.
But I’m equally interested in your picks. My question for you this week is, what are you most looking forward to? What are this year’s must see shows in your eyes? What looks interesting? What do I need to see? And, of course, why?
In the next On Stage Weekly, I’ll highlight the shows that the most people write in about.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. We still have a few weeks before the festival so here’s what’s happening this week.
On Stage This Week
The Burden of Self Awareness (opens this week)
Sex, regrets and murderous musings from Canada’s master of dark comedy. GCTC presents the world premiere of The Burden of Self Awareness by George F. Walker.
After a brush with death, a man decides to give away his fabulous fortune to those in need. But before he can, his elitist wife, his not-so-happy hooker, a neurotic shrink, and a reluctant hit man have other ideas about who should have and who should have not.
The Burden of Self Awareness runs at the Great Canadian Theatre Company June 3rd through June 22nd. Learn more: onstageottawa.com/theburdenofselfawareness
Touch and Go (opens this week)
The Ottawa Little Theatre is closing off it’s 101st with Touch and Go, a British farce by Derek Benfield about deception and mistaken identity.
Wives, mistresses and husbands are caught up in a wild cover-up when a man’s weekly exercise turns out to be more than just a jog in the park. A farce with great physical humour by one of England’s Favorite Playwrights.
Touch and Go runs at the Ottawa Little Theatre, June 3rd through June 21st. Learn more: onstageottawa.com/touchandgo
9 to 5: The Musical (final week)
Girl Power Rules in the Orpheus premiere of 9 to 5; The Musical, opening Friday at Centerpointe Theatre. Crafted from the 1980s movie, 9 to 5, is a witty take on still-relevant issues such as office politics, workplace harassment, pay equity, and the ubiquitous “glass ceiling”.
From Matthew Champ’s review: Orpheus has brought together by far one of the most talented casts that I have seen on stage in a long time. They oozed professionalism from the first moment they stepped out on stage until the final curtain call. Melinda Hudson, in the lead role of Judy, was superb. She never missed a step or a beat, owned the stage every time she took it, and her closing solo “Get Out & Stay Out” was by far one of the most powerfully sung solos I have seen on stage in a long time. (onstageottawa.com/9to5review)
9 to 5: The Musical runs at Centrepointe Theatre now until June 8th. Learn more: onstageottawa.com/9to5
‘art’ (final week)
How would you feel about your best friend if he suddenly did something so colossally stupid, it made you doubt the very basis of the friendship? That’s what happens in Yasmina Reza’s monster international hit, “Art”, produced by Same Day Theatre and running at The Gladstone.
From Caitlin Oleson’s review: Maybe something was lost in translation or maybe the European sensibilities of the script simply don’t suit me but I found the play too philosophical. “Art” contains a lot of monologues and dense dialogues that just didn’t ring true for me. Until the climactic fight scene, Marc and Serge seemed less like genuine friends and more like men discussing the nature of friendship and art. They didn’t really seem connected to or invested in each other at all. (onstageottawa.com/artreview)
‘art’ runs at The Gladstone theatre now through June 8th. Learn more: onstageottawa.com/art
As always, I’d love to hear what you’re seeing, what you’re loving, and what you’re up to. You can get in touch with me through any of the usual channels or join the discussion in the comments below.
Until next time, have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you at the theatre.