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Fringe Festival Part 7: The Final Lap

Posted by Sarah / June 22, 2008

Drag RacesYou may be sick of reading about the Fringe Festival by now. I hope you're not, because it's with immense pleasure that I've been trotting all over town for the past ten days, working like a machine trying to bring you the most insight on as much of this festival as humanly possible. If you're saturated with the Fringe, it's almost over. I sincerely hope you've been pleased with the variety of events we've covered, but mainly I hope you had a chance to enjoy some of these shows yourselves. I'd love to hear your comments about the festival. What were your highlights? Did you see any really bad shows? Did some of them blow your minds? Did you laugh? Did you cry? I always love hearing what our readers have to say so please, comment away.

Drag Races 2Before the Fringe Pop! portion of the evening got started yesterday, a very special even took place at Parc des Amériques: The Annual Drag Races. From the picture, you've probably figured out that we're not talking cars here, but rather men dressed as women performing in a variety of challenges. There are two teams, one made up of the lovely shemales from Chez Mado against the (mostly) male actors of the Fringe.

The first challenge let the contestants pick a member of the audience to be quickly made up in drag. Then came the cocktail challenge (no euphemism intended) where the gals had to mix up a cocktail, balancing it on a tray while stepping through tires with their high-heels, and getting an audience member to taste them. And last but not least, the lasses showed off how well they could shake it with a dance challenge. The ordeal, hosted by the ever-so-fabulous Mado, was judged by "Queen Elizabeth" and "Lady Di". It was an entertaining afternoon filled with fun, hilarity and good times were had by all (even the guy sitting in the front who got a drink spilled on him).

After a little over an hour of that, I hopped away for a short play I'd heard great things about, The Particulars. The one-man-show was put definitely well put together and very articulate to say the least. The text was extremely well written, though the vocabulary was not exactly what you're used to hearing said out loud, as it is generally reserved for the written medium. The monologue was a bit verbally heavy and definitely required lots of focus and attention in order to follow what the actor was leading us through. Maybe I just had a hard time focusing on what the handsome gentleman was saying, being distracted by the view of the latter in his tighty-whities. His performance was great though and I think the fact that the text wasn't dummed-down definitely has its merits and charm.

I got back to the park just in time to catch the end of the Drag Races and see the winners being announced, which was followed by the musical event reviewed in the previous post.

Blastback BabyzapToday, I finished my last lap around the Fringe with Blastback Babyzap, which was also warmly reviewed by Paloma. Though I had a hard time dragging my tired self out of my apartment once again, I was rewarded by one heck of a show. I think if I had an award to give out for this Festival, in the handful of shows I've seen, the Montreal company would definitely win the trophy. I'm a big fan of nonsense, silly and unassuming humor like the kind featured in this play, though it's often a hit-or-miss when you're trying to pull that kind of stuff on a live audience. Showcasing a variety of skits that all run one into the other, the actors flip the characters in no time and do it all very skillfully. They were all outstanding comedians that made the hilarious script come to life with their awesome dynamics and charisma. I laughed and giggled uncontrollably. I literally couldn't stop laughing in some parts. This is a play I'd actually see more than once and still laugh after having seen it two or three times.

It is on this great note that I tip my hat off to you all on the Fringe matter. It's been an exhausting but amazingly fun week for me. Kudos to all the actors and staff behind the Festival, who have clearly given it their 100% to make it so great. Special thanks to Geoff for providing our team with the passes, without which you wouldn't have been able to read all about it. Great job! I'll be looking forward to it next year.

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