Halifax Fringe Festival August 31-September 10 various locations atlanticfringe.ca
The next two weeks are going to be busy for lovers of the weird and wonderful. This is the Halifax Fringe Festival's 27th year, but its first under the new name. Previously the Atlantic Fringe Festival, the name change comes after other Fringe festivals started popping up in the Atlantic provinces. This year, over 55 shows spanning 10 venues means over 350 individual performances. Instead of waiting to hear the buzz, let us guide you with these five shows to see before it's too late.
FACE by Heist The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street September 2-6
Start the queue, this show only has five performances, and ends before the second weekend of the festival. From the fine folks who brought you The Princess Show, this enigma of a live-art performance features the wonders of Manny Dingo, Princess Edward, Dianne Isis, Lickitty Splitt, and other special guests.
"We at Heist wanted to collaborate on a cabaret of live art that includes drag, song, performance art, voguing, wearable art and more, with a soundtrack as wide ranging as Wilco to Bjork to Porter Robinson," says FACE director and Heist co-founder Richie Wilcox. With the tagline "let the children gag," this is one you won't want to miss.
Out Late by Alison Lynne Ward, Hanlon McGregor and Mihaly Szabados Plan B Halifax, 2180 Gottingen Street August 31-September 7
This evening features two short plays about coming out later in life. Vancouver-based Alison Lynne Ward's play No Gold Star tells her story of navigating life's changes after coming out as a lesbian at 35.
Written by Toronto artists Hanlon McGregor and Mihaly Szabados, Unexpectedly Trans is the story of Gina, a mother of two, who comes out to his family and transitions to Dan. The duo's mandate is to "represent people, people of colour and other people whose stories need to be told more on stage and screen in order to increase empathy in the world." This pairing of performances is bound to have some good laughs and a few tears.
Inamorata: The Pilot Episode by Rebecca Falvey Old Pool Hall Theatre 6050-6070 Almon Street August 31-September 8 Halifax writer Rebecca Falvey's new play
Inamorata won last year's Pitch-It series that came with a development deal with Eastern Front Theatre. Sure to be bitingly funny and sardonic, Inamorata is a comedy about two young women and their lonely mothers. We are told it's also about hungover absurdism, lower middle class audodidact spite, early jazz vocal groups, psychosexual interpersonal analysis, alcohol, anecdotes, attention and affection. Falvey, who is also performing, puts it this way: "It's a sitcom about the sad people who need sitcoms."
It's a Girl by Michelle Raine The Living Room, 2353 Agricola Street September 3-10
This brand new solo show developed by Misfits Theatre and Transitus Theatre tells the true story of one trans woman's life. "It's important to me that the general public hear my story, which I think is easy to relate to," says the show's co-creator Raine. "I hope everyone will come with an open mind and an open heart for maximum enjoyment." Apparently there are also marshmallows.
A Feebleminded Dictator by Erin Johnston, Brittny Rebhuhn and Kate Tobie Old Pool Hall Theatre 6050-6070 Almon Street August 31-September 10
This off-the-wall show is exactly what the Fringe is all about—an original shadow play about three women who play out tyrannical fantasies with grotesque results. It's sure to be a wacky ride into some dark places. The description calls it Grey Gardens meets Looney Tunes. Enough said.