Epic Tragedy is actually neither. It’s frivolous and delightful, fun even if you don’t know the Greek-tragedy source material very well. Gerald Osborn sets his story in a taverna in the Ancient Greece of the classic tragedies, but with thoroughly modern tropes like a first date from a dating-site match. In the smaller roles, Eric Smith is a very feline Sphinx on the prowl, Francie Goodwin-Davies is a favourite as the Oracle, and Landon Shayne Penner shuffles anxiously as a mute slave working for taverna owner James Hamilton (Laws of Thermodynamics, With Bells On, Waiting for Bardot). Ruby Swekla, Syrell Wilson, dale Wilson, Catherine Wenschlag, and Cat Walsh all bring extensive experience and fine comic timing to the major roles, making this fun and easy to watch. One more show Sunday afternoon at the air-conditioned Walterdale.
Happiness™ is not easy to watch – at least, it wasn’t for me. But it is very much worth experiencing. Cory Thibert and Tony Adams, from Ottawa, perform as a sales/self-help duo making a product-launch presentation to the audience, with help from the technician for their presentation who was played by the technician for their venue. The real context and the story context kept blurring like that, and it was creepy and effective, because I do want to go to a Fringe show and I do not want to go to a Forum presentation, Amway recruitment, or gospel revival meeting. I couldn’t figure out whether to engage with the show or hide in case they were really one of the latter. I loved it. They have one more show on Sunday evening, at Rutherford School across the road from La Cité Francophone.