8.22.2005

Fringe Journal 2k5, Part II: The post in which I don't mention work once.

So, three days into Fringe. I must admit, my playwatching wasn't quite all there for the first two days, with me just hanging out at home (or, as I've taken to calling it, "Fringe Central") with our assorted billets/friends/crashers, and performing.

But yesterday, that changed! But first, our concerts:

I told you about Friday's show. We enjoyed ourselves, it was probably the best opening show we've done in our three years as Fringe Outdoor Stagers, and we found out which song not to sing.

On Saturday, we had a late afternoon show on the bigger stage. Once again, it was a beautiful, if very hot, day, and we had a decent crowd.

This year, unbeknownst to us until Randy from the Wombats told us, there's been the chance for indoor productions to "host" the outdoor shows. On a first-come, first-serve basis, actors from productions would be able to introduce the upcoming act as well as plug their own shows. Not cool for us, since why would actors bother to check the board to see who's actually performing? The guys who were hosting before us were killing the crowd, but managed to get our names right because I told them our names as they went on stage.

Another a cappella group performing at the Fringe that we MIGHT have a rivalry with? They didn't get off so easily. The host's comments once he went on stage before our show:

"In a few minutes, Apocalypse Kow will be hitting the stage. They're an a cappella group, just like Hoju."

Cue me laughing my ass off offstage.

Go to Canton's journal for another pretty funny story of how some cast members from Eating Raoul die fifteen slow, painful deaths while doing their hosting duties.

The most memorable moment of Saturday's concert was the three-year-old blond moppet who wandered up to me during our set. I bent low to get to his level, so I could talk to him properly. I had the mic at my side, but didn't quite know it was as live as it was.

Me: Hi, how are you?

Moppet: Good. Can you sing "You Are my Sunshine?"

Me: (murmuring) I'm sorry. We don't know that song.

Unfortunately, the mic picked up the entire exchange, and since I was saying this sotto voice, it sounded a lot harsher than I had intended it. The crowd boos. Dev, sensing unrest if we brush off a toddler, says, "Let's sing it!"

So we take a note, and start improv-ing some harmonies for a verse of "You Are my Sunshine." And it sounded good. To the point that some people completely thought this was set up.

Because, yes, we'd completely rig it so I'm apparently brusque to a three-year-old.

* * *

Canton, his friend Em and I went to see the Wombats' first show that day. While Paul and Randy were saying give them a few days to warm up, they were pretty much spot on for their show. Rarely a missed note during the entire show (and I'm not saying this musically, since it's them juggling and joking around. And seriously, their finale is hilarious.

* * *

Yesterday, we had two shows, and Canton had a performance of his OTHER play in between.

Some of my family was able to see our first show, since my parents are in town for Dad's kidney dialysis. My sister and a friend of hers came up from Calgary, my aunt and uncle were there, and some family friends I haven't seen in the longest while.

Of course, the show was peppered with a whole bunch of Moose Jaw and Mr. Jago ribbing. I was also given a wireless mic, so I was having fun being able to run around the stage.

During our version of D!'s "Johnny Cash" (which the audience LOVES, by the way), I was asking the audience to sing along, with the threat, "If I hear anyone not singing, I'll have my dad kick your butts. He knows everyone in Moose Jaw, you know."

I think that was probably one of our better shows, although I was a little aggressive in the hat plug, to the point of being negative. Our banter was pretty decent:

Barber: Just so you know, our next show's at 7:40 pm on the same stage. It'll be a completely different set.

Me: We changed one song.

Astro: No, Jago. We changed one member. You're fired.

At which point you can hear my dad's belly laugh from the second row.

It was my sister's first time seeing Kow perform. I think she enjoyed herself.

* * *

I went to see Canton's first show of No Entry. It was a very well-written show, and all the actors have great performances.

It's the story of a guy who can see a ghost in the week before his wedding. Apparently, this means he's slated to die soon, and he's the only person who can see the 80s' fashion-wearing girl.
The characters were funny as hell, especially Andrew Mecready's comedy-loving Death, and Ryan Hughes's paranoid pee-hoarding boss.

I'll enjoy seeing it again with Kow, and am looking forward to heckling Death this time around.

* * *
In the evening, my old friend Heath came down with his girlfriend, Pam, to see our second show of the day.

This one was still a decent show, as we did have a lot of people staying around to the end, although Barrett's Privateers almost went down in flames, once after I forgot my verse, and a portion where Barber forgot to come in, so the five of us were staring at each other, clapping to keep the momentum.

Then an audience member gave us the next line and we were back on track.

There was this annoying ten-year-old girl with no social skills who interrupted our concert once to ask what was the deal with the sound booth. We managed that fine, but when I went to get a drink during a song I don't sing, she followed me and kept on asking me questions like "What are you guys doing?"

Me: "We're performing. We're singing on stage right now."

Girl: "Do you let others sing with you?"

Me: "Sorry. We sing by ourselves for the audience. It would kill the show if we let other people on stage to sing. Hoja lets some people onstage to sing with them, though, (Yes, it's true, Astro and I saw it happen earlier.) But Kow's our own act."

Apparently, she went up to Devin after the show and asked if the tech would let her sing with the mics. Dev was saying "I'm pretty sure that's not allowed."

Of course, this morning's when I thought of a good line to let her down easy with, telling her that we paid $450 for the use of the stage and microphones, and there isn't a place on the stages for people who haven't signed up for them.

I wonder how this girl's busking circle will do.

* * *

After our evening show, Heath, Pam and I went to see Hip-Hop 4 Dummeez. My god, was this an awesome show. I never was able to see the previous play these guys did (Job: The Hip-Hop Musical), but this one was a VERY funny look at the elements of Hip-Hop culture, including how to force rhymes, what sorts of slang are used, and how different elements come together to create songs.

One of my favourite moments was when they did a rap at the end of their first act that incorporated every lesson they had taught the audience in the first half-hour.

Jacob Sable was a treat in this one. His "Bushman" character was a cross between Ray Charles and Flava Flav. Every time he wasn't talking in his almost-falsetto, he had this manic grin on his face. Such a great character.

If Canton goes to see this one, I might ask him to bring me back a CD of the performance.

* * *

Well, off to shower before we meet with the Wombats to discuss strategy for our upcoming show today...