On the first Friday night, I went to the Fringe with my friend Rob. We didn’t plan much ahead of time — just he sent a list of plays that people at VUE were saying good things about and I tried to figure out what was on and not sold out … so mostly we enjoyed the Fringe-site experience, eating green onion cakes and talking, running into people he knew, going to one off-site venue to discover it was sold out, hanging out in the beer tent, then going to “The Year of Magical Thinking“, a compelling one-woman show written by Joan Didion that reminded me of when my dad died. Rob was still up for more theatre after that, but I was overheated and sleepy, so I went home.
I told Rob about how last year I’d been to the Fringe by myself and thought about how in 2009, I could go with people I hadn’t met yet, or run into such people there. He liked that. It’s sure different, seeing that part of my neighbourhood closed to traffic and full of crowds and attractions, now that I have a picture of what “normal” is there, cutting across the empty courtyard to my library, etc.
Addition: An Unconventional Love Story: A young male-male couple has a threesome with a stranger, then fall in love unexpectedly. I was laughing and smiling-in-recognition and tearing up at different points from the rest of the audience.
Afternoon Delight: Six pieces of athletic and playful modern dance, company of four young women. I really liked it.
Michael in Primetime: One-person show, intentionally disjointed, I didn’t like it.
Inviting Desire: Vignettes about women’s sexual fantasies. Not just comedic, and a bit more challenging than some of this genre, but could have been more queer-inclusive.
nggrfg Rob had told me on Friday that he liked it, and when he saw the actor/writer in the beer tent he told him it was the best thing he’d seen so far. One-person show, good use of minimal props, speaking directly to the audience at the start and finish about the two important words needed to talk about his life, which are words that can’t even be talked about. Also really good. Particularly interesting in the context of http://fugitivus.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/offensive-words/.
So out of six plays, only one that I didn’t like. And a bunch more that I’m interested in seeing but couldn’t schedule are at the hold-overs next weekend, for $17 each. ( the all-female Importance of Being Earnest, Bashir Lazhar, 7 Lives of Louis Riel, or Cherry Cherry Lemon)
As for the rest of the festival experience, I ate a green onion cake, samosas and naan, a mango lassi, an elephant ear with chocolate sauce, and some assorted other stuff. And I tried a free sample Vitamin Water. I also fitted in some grocery shopping, and enjoyed sitting in the shade knitting and people-watching.