BY PAT DONNELLY, GAZETTE THEATRE CRITIC JUNE 15, 2014
The first weekend of a fringe festival is always a marathon, a test of how many shows can be visited within the space of a day. Because Montreal Fringe Festival veterans know that most of the good shows will have long lineups next weekend. Accessibility is seldom an issue on the first weekend, although some shows have reportedly been sold out from the get go.
One thing I’ve learned over my past two days of fringe show viewing is that having a car at your disposal can be as much of hindrance as a help. On The Plateau, parking is a nightmare for visitors. Especially on St. Laurent Blvd. street sale weekend. Most of the spots are reserved – for residents who apparently have headed out of town for the weekend.
On the positive side, the car made it possible for me to visit the 13th Hour show at 1 a.m. this morning, something which I haven’t done in years.
Thus far, I’ve managed to see eight shows (including the 13th Hour) over the past two days and will be writing about them later. Until then, just stick to my Top Twelve Picks published in the Saturday Gazette and you’ll do all right. I’ve caught several of the shows, such as Caitlin Murphy’s Lotus (a slow-cooker about Internet bullying which saves its knockout punch to the end), and they were all worth the detour.
Thus far, my one exciting surprise find was Project Gingervitis, which I thought was going to be a silly comedy replete with redhead jokes. In fact, it’s a serious (and funny) political satire of global scope, from B.C., directed by David Bloom.
Must go now, have a show to catch. And by the way, I almost always Tweet (@patstagepage ) after seeing a show and I do try to remember that #fringbuzz hashtag.
The Montreal Fringe Festival continues until June 22, 2014.