Another little change at this year’s Fringe festival is that an artist pass or volunteer pass works as an ETS transit pass. It used to be that artists and volunteers could request a separate transit pass. I had the impression that they had a limited number of passes, so I usually didn’t get one, and it was a nuisance to carry around one more thing. This way’s great – I’ve taken the bus several times for short journeys instead of driving or walking. On the other hand, the festival also used to have a bus-ticket perq for ordinary festival-goers, and it seems they don’t have that any more.
Yesterday’s short bus trip down Whyte Avenue to 101 Street and then a short walk in the neighbourhood that might be called CPR Irvine or part of Ritchie or just “behind the A and W” brought me to Concrete Theatre’s Playhouse performance space for The Superhero Who Loved Me, a new play by Chris Craddock, directed by Wayne Paquette and starring Kristi Hansen and April Banigan. At first I thought, this is great, it’s just like the comic-book superhero tales that are my usual cinema fare. And about halfway through, I thought, they’ve already had more character development and logical plot points than most superhero movies. Hansen is the secret-agent/superhero isolated by the requirement for secrecy and Banigan the old classmate looking for friends after her divorce, and when they meet again things get steamy pretty fast. They have all the superhero/mundane mixed-relationship troubles you might expect, and I cared about them. Staging was simple, painted rehearsal-boxes and a few props, and the obligatory show-you-the-world flying scene was acted out with Barbie dolls. Two more performances this weekend, and then held over at the venue next weekend.
Another short trip away from the Fringe grounds brought me to the Garneau Theatre for fresh popcorn and the midnight showing of Mo’ Manada, the Boylesque T.O. sequel to O Manada from a couple of years ago. This year’s revue was hosted by Justin Trudeau (Morgan Norwich) and Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau (Johnnie Walker), and featured four talented men from Boylesque T.O. as well as stage-kitten (costumed stage-crew and occasional performer) Shagina Twain. The hosts were just as entertaining as the dancers, and the midnight crowd was very enthusiastic. One more show today.
The official Fringe holdover series in the Westbury Theatre was announced yesterday. Tickets are available from the Fringe box office / website now for Prophecy, My Love Lies Frozen in the Ice, Legoland, and Drunk Girl.
Other independent venues make their own arrangements for holdovers. Varscona Theatre will be doing one more performance of No Exit and several for An Exquisite Hour. Holy Trinity is holding over Urinetown. Concrete/Playhouse is adding two performances of The Superhero Who Loved Me (ticketing info not available yet).
And there’s two days left to see plays, eat mini donuts and green onion cakes, watch buskers, and hang out with other people who are passionate about theatre, until we’re back to ordinary life (which for me is more of the same, but at a slower pace and with more sleep.)