The Rover: Hopping and Pop-ing at the FRINGE

Publish date: 
18 juin 2011
The Rover
Jake Freekin Smith
News body: 

What a wonderful day at the Fringe! If you aren’t out enjoying what is one of Montreal’s best festivals, then you might want to start. There’s only a few days left, so get in there while it’s hot! Seriously. Now. GO! Go see shows!


Wow. I knew Kirsten Rasmussen was a talented performer. What I didn’t know was that she is also a talented writer. This is probably my favourite show at the Fringe thus far. She worked the audience like a sculptor works clay. Her transitions were strong and she kept every single person in the room riveted on everything she did. Her use of moving from her own story of “self-help” to her parable of the coward bunny was playful and fantastic. Her use of live music and sound effects combined with masterful mime was brilliant and hysterical. Oh and did I mention it’s a musical? The songs were excellently written and delivered with poise and fervor. I cannot recommend this show enough. Kirsten Rasmussen is a gem and I anxiously await her next play.


I was very intrigued by the high-energy fringe-for-all performance put on by this young company. I really wish I could have liked their Fringe show. The costumes and set design were interesting but unfortunately that was the only saving grace of the show. The 45-minute performance seemed to drag on forever. Most of the actors seemed to have no idea what they were saying, and even when they did, they stumbled over lines and seemed utterly uncommitted to the text. And the text, oh boy. The script was just awful. Except for one poorly delivered monologue in the middle of the show about consciously choosing gender, it was mostly disjointed and at times offensive. And it didn’t help that the two live musicians on stage, who were proficient in their instruments, not only didn’t need to be there (there was no interaction with them at all, ergo, they could have used recordings) but also seemed to have lifted all of their tunes from Ennio Morricone. I really wish the show could have been better. I’d still say to keep an eye out for this young company (Pirate Panda Company) in the future as they had some interesting ideas, but I feel this show is one to miss.


So I’m walking back to the Fringe Park and I hear this beautiful sound. Three Men singing a capella in harmony, and it sounds as though they’re singing old time gospel. I enter the beer tent to see Honeyman & The Brothers Farr performing. There were two guitars, one keyboard, and three front men. Their music was rhythmic and gorgeous and had really driving melodies. Vocals were at the forefront of their sound and their performance was charming. They used the audience as a clap track and there wasn’t a person in the beer tent who wasn’t swaying with their music. They combined indie pop with that old time gospel and soul in the most fantastic of ways. If you haven’t checked out this up-and-coming band, you really need to.


You have got to check out this band. The lead singer (Krista Muir) played a Baritone uke, an old Yamaha organ with beats, and was immensely charming. She was like a cross between Jim Morrison, every 80s british pop star, and fraggle rock. She also had someone with her playing xylophone, glock, and uke. But she didn’t just play uke, she played it with a slide and a TON of reverb and somehow made it sound like a Neil Young guitar solo from the soundtrack to DeadMan. Their sound frolicked in whimsy and made me want to party. Krista and her lads just had so much fun up there it would uplift even the most sour grapes. You have got to check out this band.


Oh man, what a great way to wrap up a fun-filled day at the Fringe. If you haven’t seen these guys yet, you really need to. Peter and Chris are hilarious. They open the show with an adorable little dance number and then immediately make fun of themselves for doing so as a way to “endear themselves to the audience”. They combine masterful physical comedy with dance, clever jabs at pop culture, and a flawless sense of comedic timing. Their combination of Matrix and Inception inspired fight scenes are not to be missed. And they use epic movie soundtracks in hysterical ways to paint the sonic backdrop for their play. With Bromance, Composting, Inner and Outer Demons, and tons of Truthbombs this is an uproariously funny show.

FREE SUSHI &&&&&&&&&&

Yes you read that right. And no there is no show in the Fringe called Free Sushi. I just had a great experience and I need to write about it.

So I’m on my way to see Blink Blink Blink and I pass by one of those this-furniture-store-is-so-fucking-posh-does-anyone-actually-shop-here stores on St Laurent (how are there so many of these?) and there’s a huge crowd gathered inside. Keep in mind this is in the middle of the St Laurent street sale so it might just be because of that, but I decide to inquire as I’ve got 20 minutes to kill before the show. The woman out front says that they’re having an open house and there’s free food and wine inside. I was in there before she could finish her sentence. They not only had free wine and FREE SUSHI but it was really good wine and sushi (at least good sushi for Montreal). I spent no time looking at furniture and instead just pounded 2 glasses of wine and stuffed my face with delicious sushi. They didn’t seem to mind. The best part was, when I got out of the show I came back just to see, and there was still sushi and wine left! So I had another glass and another extra-large helping of sushi.