Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Fringe, Day 6: Five Shows... and a Show of My Own

Okay, so I haven’t really had a chance to post my Fringing notes for a few day, mainly because I was Fringing hard. I’ve met a lot of fine people over the last few days and I shan’t list them all. I will, however, give you a quick run-down of the shows I caught Saturday and Sunday.

Sabotage : In Fine Form

I was nervous. You see, I brought my friend Ben along to see the show and I had hyped the Sabotage boys up as being really funny, hilarious, etc, etc.

My credibility as an arbitor of what is funny and what is not funny was at stake.

About 15 minutes into the show, I relaxed. Fuckin’ hilarious. That’s all I can say. I love these guys and I think I have to go back again later this week.

JOB II: The Demon of Eternal Recurrence

Much as I admire these guys and the incredible work they do, I didn’t like this show as much as its predecessor JOB: The Hip-Hop Musical. The sequel has a more complex story, more to say philosophically, more social commentary, and perhaps it got bogged down a bit because of all that. I think perhaps it needs to be another half an hour or so in length for them to more fully explore the characters and plot.

My other complaint is that I have trouble following what is going on some of the time. But I had a bit of this problem last year too. I have trouble making out the words. (Though, MC Cain and MC Abel do stop and bring us back up to speed from time to time.)

I don’t know how it could be done without losing the hip-hop feel for the show, but I’d like clearer enunciation from Jerome and Eli.

I’m critical because I like it. The audience loved it. It’s worth the money. Jerome and Eli have not just created another good show, they’ve successfully proved that the Hip-hop musical is a genre, one that can keep its appeal even after the concept loses its novelty.

A Canadian Bartender at Butlin’s

I’m profiling T.J. Dawe later this week for The Post, but I stopped taking notes after about 15 minutes of ACBAB. What a masterful storyteller! T.J. had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand – and that included me.

Go already.

Nharcolepsy

I saw Nharcolepsy after five games of squash and two other Fringe plays, so – to be honest – I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind. There’s nothing fast-paced about Harrington and Kaufman’s show, in which they reprise the roles of a Belgian cabaret singer and his slow, nearly-mute assistant, this time on a trip to the North Pole in search of the Yeti. In my state, I didn’t have the patience to enjoy this piece the way I think I might have under different circumstances. I wanted some dancing girls, maybe.

Several friends of mine, whose opinions I hold very highly, consider these two to be one of the funniest troupes on earth. The friend I saw Nharcolepsy with on Sunday evening, however, hated it and thought it was lazy and completely unfunny.

I think I’m the only one who has seen it and been ambivalent.

Caveat Emptor.

Self-Promotional Update: A train, a train, a train, a train, would you could you on a train…

I didn’t attend the Fringe tonight because I have to be up early in the morning. 5:30am, I think. I haven’t been up that early since… Well, I don’t think I’ve ever really been up that early, unless I stayed up all night.

I’m going to be an extra on the Global show Train 48, you see, and they start taping at the ungodly hour of 7 am, way out in Don Mills.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Do check it out if you get a chance tonight at 7pm on Global.

Email in your Fringe gossip, reviews and news to jkelly@cup.ca.

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