Winnipeg is a city of character(s).
We’re known for our Jets, our Bombers, our slurpees, and our Folk. However, once a year, we’re reminded that Winnipeg can just as easily be known for our actors, our playwrights, our stages, or our drama.
Every year Winnipeggers are treated to a spectacle that puts those things centre stage. This year, the 27th annual Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is putting the spotlight on some very talented performers, writers and other dramatists until July 27.
There really is something for everyone: one-man (or woman) shows, monologues, musicals, improv, street performances, bands at the Cube in Old Market Square, and street vendors throughout The Exchange.
This year, there are 178 shows to take in, almost too many for one mere mortal Fringer to see! The shows are all varied, ranging from tame and child-friendly to absolute sacrilegious debauchery.
Many performers are more concerned with getting their names out there and practicing their art, rather than just making a quick buck; that’s not what Fringe is about, so it’s very affordable with shows ranging from free (!!) to $10 per person. Often shows run $5-8 per person, depending on the day and the daily discount. So check that schedule and plan accordingly!
– If you like ridiculous raunch, try The Ballad of Peter Cotton Balls, a musical comedy act by local comedian J. Williamez. Williamez spends the hour goofing with the audience, singing insane songs and engaging in self-deprecation like only he can. Definitely a show that’s not for the faint of heart or easily offended. Click here to read Winnipeg Free Press review.
– If you’re obsessed with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, check out Fake News Fangirl because I’d wager you’re probably not quite as obsessed as Sharilyn Johnson. She chronicles her borderline-crazy 15-year celebrity obsession with the kings of satirical news, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. The show is a brutally honest and self-reflective glimpse into the mind of a fanatic, and it was very interesting to see a first-hand account (and attempted justification) of celebrity obsession. Click here to read the Winnipeg Free Press review.
– There are also traditional plays, like University of Manitoba Film Professor George Toles’ Wang Dang, a three-actor, one room, 90-minute play that examines the timeless art of seduction in a bizarre evening of conversation, vodka, confession and pizza. Rob McLaughlin, Kerri Woloszyn and Jane Walker play the three characters (Mickey, Deana, and Kim, respectively) and all three are pros that truly embody their roles. Click here to read the Winnipeg Free Press review.
There’s truly a show for every sensibility.
The thing about Winnipeg Fringe Fest is that on top of those six shows we mentioned, there are 172 (!!) more available to see, and no matter what kind of entertainment you appreciate, there truly will be a show that can quench your thirst for the theatre.
Visit www.winnipegfringe.com for more information on the Festival.