“Anything can happen, and we let it,” proclaims the cover of the program for the 2017 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival — the second-largest independent theatre festival of its kind in North America.
That ethos means there’s no such thing as a sure bet at the Fringe — but among the nearly 190 shows at this year’s festival, there’s sure to be gold.
Here are a dozen shows to keep an eye out for at this year’s Winnipeg Fringe (with the company name in brackets):
Flight (Curbside): This family-friendly show uses acrobatics to tell a story that’s a sequel to the children’s classic The Little Prince. It comes to town with high praise from other festivals — including the granddaddy of all fringes, the Edinburgh Fringe — and even a nod of approval from the New York Times.
Edgar Allan (The Coldharts): This Brooklyn company hit Fringe gold at the 2014 festival with The Legend of White Woman Creek. This dark musical tells the story of the rivalry between two boys named Edgar Allan, drawing on the works of Edgar Allan Poe and the power of the ukulele. It’s a curious blend that’s earned rave reviews at other fests.
Macbeth Muet (La Fille du Laitier): Is this a physical comedy I see before me? Jon Lachlan Stewart dazzled fringe audiences a few years back with his remarkable physical show Big Shot. Here, he turns what may be Shakespeare’s darkest tale into a wordless “high-speed romp.”
The Trump Card (District Theatre Collective): You had to know The Donald would show up at this year’s Fringe. Here, District Theatre Collective — a Winnipeg company with a great track record for tackling challenging shows with inventive style — adapts Mike Daisey’s monologue about the American president with a superb local cast.
Fruit Flies Like a Banana: World Tour (The Fourth Wall): “Serious music…