Last day of the Fringe

I remember feeling wistful after Folkfest this year too, that writing up the end of the weekend was like saying that now it was over and I needed to get to work.

Anyway, on the last day of Folkfest my plan to rendezvous with a perfomer to get another copy of last year’s CD turned into seeing four shows and being there right til the end. This meant that I’ve seen 31 performances.

The weather was good, shortsleeves weather but not too hot. I went to the main festival site to pick up my tickets, then back to Wunderbar to see Joel’s show again. But I was actually super early so I sat outside the A&W in the shade, talking to a family member on the phone and eating mini doughnuts. Then I got inside and had another great conversation with Craig the bartender (owner?) about ales. He says I need to check out Keg and Cork. I also talked to the merch guy (whom I’d met at some other shows) about intellectual property etc.

Divide – I actually liked Joel’s show even better the second time through, understanding the pacing and looking for how it flowed together.

Improv-a-palooza – this was another improv show at the Varscona Hotel. Jim Libby whom I’d seen in another show, Wes Borg from the Three Dead Trolls, and some other local improv guys built up an improbable ridiculous story involving Freud, a mother kidnapped in Mexico, a long-lost brother, a father who was an unsuccessful salesman, and some spontaneous musical numbers, by playing a board game to get premises for their story.

However, because of the unpredictable nature of improv combined with trying to finish the game, I got out of there 6 minutes late, giving me only 9 minutes to get by bike from the Varscona to Phabric (which is on 80 Avenue at about 101 St (down from the A&W.) I rode on Whyte Avenue and ran a turning light and boy when I read about the cyclist fatality this afternoon it hit even closer to home than usual. Anyway, I made it in time.

Apocalypse: a Period Piece – a charming original two-man show, both funny and poignant, with Chris Craddock and another guy being little boys in the cold-war era but also being various characters that the little boys pretended to be: their dad, Elvis, JFK, etc. It is held over and I recommend it and might be convinced to see it again.

Then I had a bit of time to spare before my last show. I paid one last visit to the beer tent, watched the festival grounds empty out some, watched artists give one last handbill-pitch, and ate a taco in a bag (taco makings added to a bag of Doritos).

A Wake – the venue of this show was the Southside Memorial Chapel, the funeral home just across the street from the gazebo park. The show itself was okay to well done, musings on death, grief, death ritual, and life, in dance and music and poetic fragments and a few dialogues. But the use of the space and the participation of the funeral home’s owners were just fabulous. I have written to the owners to thank them. I have not lived in Edmonton long enough to attend any funerals or visitations yet, but if it were up to me someday I would definitely do business with these people. After the scripted performance, they invited the audience to see an installation in one of the visitation rooms, and/or to come have refreshments in their reception room and talk to the performers and the owners, and having that kind of grounding and aftercare was probably valuable for a lot of the audience.

It was still daylight. My bike was still there. The vendors were taking down their booths. I rode my bike home and spent the rest of the evening chatting on line about the experience.

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