Last year, we finally made it to Montreal for the Just For Laughs Festival. We went for 3 days, walked around (well, Keith walked. I hobbled on a cane), and took in four shows. It was lovely vacation, filled with gorgeous weather, interesting walks, good food, and most importantly, lots of laughs.

We decided to forgo it this year. No one in the line-up jumped out at us, and our post-Australia finances are not as fluid as we’d like. We decided to do Fringe instead. 155 shows to choose from, no more than an hour in length, for $10 a ticket? How bad could they be?

We’d only planned on seeing one or two, but the shows are a bit like crack. Before we knew it, we’d seen seven in three days. We took Monday off because they were starting to run together. I have to write them down, before I look at Keith and say something like, “so you know the one character with the goth bondage costume and the lisp? Was that in Absolute Alice or Gay Nerds?”

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1. Peter n’ Chris and mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel

Think Scooby Doo with a twist. Predictable for the most part, but also a few did-not-see-that-coming moments. two days later and Keith is still talking about the end. Lots of laughs throughout though! Worth the tenner just to see how two good actors can portray three people on the stage.

Now I just wish I could get Hungry Heart out of my head.

 

2. Temple of Khaos

It was billed as ” Monty Python meets Game of Thrones at the Moulin Rouge“. The reviews printed in the program call the show “very funny” (CBC) and “hilarious” (Globe and Mail).

Makes me wonder what show they saw. The show I saw was none of those things. I may have been in the wrong theatre.

 

3. R U Smarter Than An Irishman

I like it when a show states upfront that it requires audience participation. Then I know to sit at the back.

And frankly, I’m not a big fan of magic shows.

But this one worked.

 

4: Jem Rolls: Ten Starts and an End

Wow. Just wow. Intelligence + wit + an excellent vocabulary + timing + a dollop of anger at the status quo = words that echo in my head for days after. Tempted to see this one again.

 

5: ABSOLUTE ALICE

Alice in Wonderland. Told in less than an hour. With Toronto’s underground scene as the backdrop (oh yeah, goth bondage character was here). Big cast, big costumes, some fun original music, but it still felt like a high-school musical. Like a regular high-school musical, not High School Musical ™ by Disney ™. Fun, worth the ten bucks, but not going to run out and see it again.

 

6: Gay Nerds

Another highlight. Flowed so well that I was genuinely surprised how fast the time went (as opposed to Temple of Khaos where time slid past as slow as molasses in January). A clever breakdown of the fourth wall, lots of gay jokes, lots of nerd jokes, and lots of gay nerds in the audience.

 

7. buffering…

” See what happens in a kingdom that was once magical, but now is kind of lame due to intellectual property disputes.”

Lame. They said it, not me. But worth the ten bucks to see the bit about with the Meme Troll.