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Jane Enkin

 
JANE ENKIN: WINNIPEG FRINGE FESTIVAL 2013 PREVIEW OF SIX SHOWS

by Jane Enkin, July 13, 2013

Winnipeg Fringe Festival 2013
July 17 -- 28, 2013

The Winnipeg Fringe Festival 2013 opens on July 17. There is lots to discover on their website. The Fringe Program is your complete guide to all of the activities at the 2013 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival.  Programs are available at Manitoba Liquor Marts, select Safeway stores (Customer Service Desk), McNally Robinson Booksellers and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

You can read my WJR articles on the shows Aspergers; a Tale of a Social Misfit, Good People Bad Things and Hamlet as Told on the Streets. A few other Fringe artists were in touch with me about performances with a Jewish connection.

Comedian Alexa Fitzpatrick sent me this email about her show:

“In Alexa Fitzpatrick's Serving Bait to Rich People, she draws on her Jewish and Irish heritages to make jokes about life in the restaurant industry.  Alexa confesses, "It's an odd combination, Irish and Jewish, it means I can drink most of you under the table, I'm just going to feel guilty about it afterwards." The show is a stand up comedy about the frustrations of dating and waiting, but it also touches on the pressure one receives from their family.  Alexa cautions, "every Jewish mother wants to be a grandmother, so when my mom gave me condoms for my birthday the first thing I did was check them for holes."  And as Alexa moves beyond the bar, she tries to stay true to both her faith and her family, "when I moved to New York City my parents were worried that I would turn my back on God.  I just don't think they were expecting it to happen in the subway while he was yelling at me."  

I am intrigued by guitar player Colin Godbout's one man play Canuck Quixote. He explores “quixotic musical portraits of Aboriginal and African people” in Canadian songs by writers who are not themselves African-Canadian or Aboriginal. “You’ll meet Gordon Lightfoot’s Don Quixote, Neil Young’s Pocahontas, Liona Boyd’s Hiawatha, Leonard Cohen’s Mohawk saint, Bruce Cockburn’s Guatemalan rocket launcher, Lenny Breau’s ebony queen, and Joni Mitchell's boogie man.” Godbout takes an intellectual, analytical approach, but he also comes across as a good storyteller – I'm looking forward to hearing him tell about the encounter between Leonard Cohen and Winnipeg's Lenny Breau. 

"Global guitarist Colin Godbout is a six-string wizard and can coax any style out of his acoustic. It's fingerpickin' good." - Winnipeg Free Press

Raffie Rosenberg from the Knavish Hedgehog production company wrote to me as well.

“The company is a group of young actors performing Shakespeare's As You Like It, a tall task that they accomplish well. One of the cast members is Miranda Baran, daughter of local Jewish actress Mariam Bernstein. Mariam is a prominent actor and teacher in the Winnipeg theater community and her daughter is following right in her footsteps. The show boasts a wide variety of young talent and the "next generation" of Fringe performers.”

Miranda Baran followed up with some thoughts about her love of acting and about Knavish Hedgehog's approach to Shakespeare.

“I'm a 15 year old girl who adores Shakespeare, singing, acting and the theatre in general. I also love baking, reading/writing, laughing and clever wordplay. I play the part of Celia, the daughter of the usurping Duke. She's a very faithful friend, she stands up for what she believes is right and she is someone who wants to help and support but she is not without her troubles.

“We read through the script to get a full idea of the play multiple times then cut it down in a way that holds everything together very neatly and runs together smoothly. As a group we are very enthusiastic about communicating Shakespeare, making a collective effort to find ways of making the text not only understood but celebrated. When dealing with Shakespeare, you have to respect the words he has given you especially because much of what he says is still applicable today. The costumes, setting and general approach to the production are directly tied to themes and ideas found in the play with a modern twist to it. As You Like It is wonderful for many reasons, one of which is that there is something for everyone. Comedy, drama, humanity, music, fighting, love, forgiveness, even the very idea of being alive--all are present in a way that leaps off the page, begging to be brought to life and shown to people; a request we are honoured to grant.”

Ben Gorodetsky wrote, “I am a Jewish-Russian theatre artist based in Edmonton. I have worked as an actor, improvisor, playwright and director, and much of my self created work explores cultural and social identity. As for my show, Lorax Improv, we are a 3 person physical improv theatre group. Fusing dance and physical theatre vocabulary with narrative improv comedy, Lorax Improv is a high intensity show for all ages!”

This email arrived from the director of CIRCLE, Suzanne Bachner:

“I'm thrilled to invite you to my play, CIRCLE. The play is racy and deals frankly with sexuality and relationships.  It is also thoughtful, inventive and heartfelt, a comedy that at its core is about human connection.  It is performed by 2 truly superb actors, one Canadian, one American: Christel Bartelse & Bob Brader.  I am Jewish and my company and a large part of our patron base and company members are also Jewish.  I hope that you will come check it out.  I would love to share this joyful production with you and your readership.”

Room At Both Ends director Dale Watts wrote to mention that two Jewish actors, Lyle Smordin and Bluma Levine appear in the show. Here is the description of the play:

An impatient, cynical, workaholic businessman, who experiences a mild heart attack brought on by stress and hypertension and is hospitalized for tests, learns to appreciate his estranged wife and son and to acknowledge his part in their collective relationship challenges, with the help of an older, wiser man.

Enjoy the Fringe, everyone!

 

 
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