By David Currie (with Vanessa Lynn Turpin)
Imagine your perfect hour away from your telephone and/or children. What does that look like? Would you visit a dance show, a drama, a comedy, or something captivating but practically impossible to put into words the next day!?
This is the imagining that bound together the packed audience of the Ottawa Fringe Festival Preview Night. As the 42 plays were pitched lightning-quick in two-minute snapshots, you could almost hear the collective voices of a hundred inner children and one actual pre-teen whispering, “what are we going to see?”
Here is our rundown on which of this year’s Fringe Shows you won’t want to miss, based solely from Preview Night.
Looking for captivating performance art?
If you delight in the magic and wonder of a live circus act, you will need to check out bothThe Red Shoes and ArborAmor. Both of these shows will leave you awe-struck and wondering how flexible you may be today if you had never given up on your dreams at childhood gymnastics. ArborAmor tells the tale of a tree through a tango-infused interpretive dance, and The Red Shoes features jaw-dropping acts of acrobatics, fire-eating and contortion. And if you enjoy contemporary dance, you won’t want to miss the beguiling dance show raw footage.
Looking to laugh?
There were many, many comedic previews. But of course—some do it better than others! Lana Schwarcz’s Lovely Lady Lump is a one-woman laugh-riot about breast cancer. Ananta will leave your head-spinning as you try to keep pace with the performer’s rhythmic slam philosophy (set to banjo, of course). Blindside will tell you the awkward love story of a woman with one glass eye who meets her match at summer camp. Storyteller Gerard Harris (A Tension to Detail) will leave you in stitches as he recounts paying attention to, perhaps, the wrong details. Lastly, the effortlessly funny chemistry in A Room with Wolves should not be missed!