I loved my second Fringe play of the season A Small Affair. It was funny and fast paced. The story takes place in a rehearsal space where actors in a new television drama are preparing for the filming of their show. We meet the stressed television director, the self-centered female star of the show, and the laconic maintenance man who wanders in and out of the rehearsal space to make comments while fixing an electrical problem in the bathroom.
Two of my colleagues at the Winnipeg Art Gallery were in the play. Tiffany played a confused newspaper reporter and Rhonda was a feisty and outspoken cleaning lady. They both put on great performances and gave their characters such distinctive personality. I heard someone behind me say as they exited the theatre, “the cleaning lady was the best!”
These three white-haired women stumble into the rehearsal space by mistake and capture the audience’s hearts with their humour. They are potential contestants on another television show called Make A Fool of Yourself. There are plenty of other off-beat characters who entertain the audience with their antics – an aging actor struggling with alcohol problems, a no-nonsense stage manager, a jealous co-star and an emotional actress with a difficult husband.
This was a good performance of a well written play. I laughed out loud several times as did many audience members. A good drama needs quirky, interesting characters who change. Plenty of conflict is required as well . And of course humour always helps! This play had them all in my opinion.
A Small Affair is a big success!
The photos in this post are courtesy of the Shoestring Players Facebook page
Other fringe plays I’ve seen this year……
The first 2014 Winnipeg Fringe play we saw was Dandy. There were some dandy things about it. Bremner Duthie the solo performer is enthusiastic and puts his whole heart into his performance. He’s backed up by three talented young men from the jazz program at the University of Manitoba. Bremner’s voice is obviously a well-trained one. He knew his material well and the audience found his ode to an item of clothing called a ‘dickie’ humorous.
There were some things however about the show that weren’t so dandy. Bremner had trouble always singing in tune. The narration didn’t really tell a connected story. I did figure out that the main character lost the love of his life and then lost himself in alcohol. The message of the performance was not clear. Bremner waxed eloquent about the way the clothes we wear can transform us and can impact the way people see us. However he also talked about the importance of inner beauty.
Bremner was sarcastic about the clothes the audience members were wearing and chastised my husband who was fooling around with his flashlight. Flashlights had been handed out to the audience so they could use them to shine a spotlight onto Bremner.
There were several too long sections where Bremner just sat looking in a soulful way at the audience and a couple fairly long off stage costume changes.
By the way Bremner thinks the ultimate fashion sin is wearing sweat pants, so if you don’t want him to poke fun at you don’t wear them to the show
Bremner does strip down at one point and I was a little nervous everything would come off but I need not have worried. He kept his Superman underwear on.
Great fringe shows I saw last year……….
Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter
Fringing Times Four
Winnipeg is proposing some changes to its laws about acceptable behavior for bus riders using the city’s transit system. These proposed changes were outlined in a recent news story in the Free Press. Since I am a frequent rider of city buses I wrote a letter to the editor of the paper giving a suggestion for making one of the proposed changes more effective. It was published on July 9 and can be read on the Have Your Say page.
Other posts about city issues…….
I Think I’m Going To Be On Television Tonight
I Was On the Radio
Aren’t You Scared To Live In Winnipeg’s Exchange District?
Before our guests from Hong Kong and India left Winnipeg we thought we needed to take them to the city’s most popular ice cream stand the Bridge Drive-In .The Bridge Drive In (known more commonly in Winnipeg as simply The BDI) has been serving ice-cream to patrons since May 1 1957 and on a warm summer evening there is always a line up of people waiting to get sundaes and milkshakes and a dipped cone. The crowd on the night we were there was modest.
But this is how it can look on a busy afternoon.
Dave and Anil cycled over to the BDI on Jubilee Avenue and we ladies took the car.
The Bridge Drive In has many flavors of soft ice-cream and you can get your cone dipped in butterscotch or chocolate and rolled in nuts.
Anil and I both opted for the Bridge Bar while Dave and the ladies had soft icecream. The bridge beside the ice cream parlor is The Elm Park Bridge but it is often called the BDI Bridge. The ice cream stand was named after the bridge when it opened and now 57 years later the bridge has come to be known by the name of the ice cream stand.The Bridge crosses the Red River and was built in 1912.The bridge used to have a 5 cent toll for pedestrians a 10 cent toll for vehicles and a 25 cent toll for trucks. The toll charges were stopped in 1946 and the bridge was closed to vehicles in 1974. The city did not tear down the bridge because it was too expensive to do so.The night of our visit there was even a saxophonist at the end of the bridge to serenade us.
Dave and I used to live one street over from the Bridge Drive In on Rosedale Avenue when we were first married and we visited the iconic ice cream stand regularly. It was fun to go back with our visitors and introduce them to a Winnipeg landmark.
Posts about showing other Hong Kong visitors Winnipeg………
The Winnipeg Art Gallery Roof
Leo Mol Sculpture Garden
Bison Up Close and Personal
Our friends Meena and Anil are visiting us from Hong Kong and we took them out to the Peasant Cookery, a favorite Exchange District restaurant of ours. The window ledges are decorated with artistic fowl sculptures in wood or ceramics and jars of canned fruits and vegetables.The Peasant Cookery boasts that it offers ‘real food from the land’ and we knew from our past visits that the food would be excellent and the service friendly.
We decided to order five different dishes from the eclectic menu and share them all. Our meal was first rate.
A beet salad with toasted seeds, goat cheese, arugula and a caramelized honey vinaigrette dressing
Tourtiere- a French meat pie with thick cut fries
aged cheddar gnocchi with sun dried tomato, spinach, red onion, piquillo peppers and basil oilLightly breaded mahi, mahi with fresh vegetables
and bread pudding with Guinness ice-cream and a caramel sauce for dessert.Despite his look of concern in this photo our waiter was attentive and very pleasant and earned extra bonus marks from us when my husband asked him who his favorite Winnipeg band was and he replied, “Royal Canoe,” the band our son plays in. After dinner we were off to the Trappist Monastery in St. Norbert to see this years’ Shakespeare in the Ruins production of The Comedy of Errors. It was a near perfect night. The rain held off and it was just cool and windy enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay. We had warm blankets provided by the theatre troupe. We moved around the monastery grounds to see the different scenes from the play. It was done in such an entertaining fashion, the humor bawdy and the acting a bit ‘over the top’ in a good way. The actors made it so easy to follow the rather complicated plot of mistaken identity that near the end of the play when it was revealed that identical twins had been mixed up throughout the drama, a little boy about three or four years old in the audience blurted out, “Why there’s two of them.” Even he understood the plot resolution. The Peasant Cookery staff and Shakespeare in the Ruins company helped us show off our city to our Hong Kong friends in first class style.
Other related posts……
Shakespeare in the Ruins- 2012
Are You Speaking English
Devour the District