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Zach Dorn (left) / Randy Ross

By BERNIE BELLAN

(Originally posted July 21 and updated July 22 & 23)  Elsewhere on this site we have a post that contains information about Fringe shows that feature Jewish performers as sent to us by those performers. We have now seen seven of the eight shows mentioned in that story - and offer capsule reviews of each of them here. Keep checking this site for more capsule reviews of shows that feature Jewish performers as we add to them over the next few days.

"God Bless Cambodia" - Randy Ross plays a character loosely based on his own life, who's been looking for love - unsuccessfully, for years. During the course of this hour-long show you might find out some things about what men are truly thinking (at least some men) that might come as quite a shock to women. Did you know that there are 112 million adults in the United States who are single? (That came from Randy's show.) So far, I've seen 6 shows featuring only one performer, including Randy's - and, like the others, he delivers a superbly polished show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Let's Prank Call Each Other" - with Zach Dorn. Here's how the show is described on the Fringe website: "Friedrich Nietzsche leads a gaggle of beauty queens in a riot within a budget hotel room; a man avenges the death of his Brussels Griffon on the streets of Nagoya, Japan; and a puppeteer attempts to resurrect the art of prank calling. These stories create the surreal and fast-paced live-action comic book Let’s Prank Call Each Other. Puppeteer Zach Dorn narrates these original tales as digital cameras are manipulated through cardboard streets and overhead projectors illuminate silhouettes."

None of the above is true, except for how Zach uses digital cameras & overhead projectors. This guy is absolutely wild in a frantically charming sort of way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Les Miserables with Alli Perlov

LES MISERABLES
Written & Performed by Alli Perlov
Here's how Allie describes her version of a much-loved musical:

"A one-human being, potentially comedic performance
Do you hear people sing?
How about one pint-sized yet passionate lady in her second and most ambitious one-person show yet?
Alli Perlov will aim to make you laugh, cry and sing along with the best of Les Mis through an original comedy/parody lense. All your favourites will be there including Fantine, Eponine, Jean Valjean and Javert (guaranteed better than Russell Crowe in the 2012 film) and Cosette as played by a kazoo."

So far, of all the Jewish performers we've seen at the Fringe, Allie is the only local product, but the popularity of her show has little to do with that fact and more to do with its zaniness.

 

 

 

 

 

Taylor Casas, Cynthia Price & Ezra Lebank are in "Flight"

“Flight” - a terrific Fringe show that combines acrobatics with the story of “The Little Prince” features Ezra Lebank, who is a professor of movement at California State University in Long Beach and two of his students: Taylor Casas, who told me that she is both Jewish and Mexican, and Cynthia Price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melanie Gall

"Big in Cambodia" - Melanie Gall is a Winnipeg Fringe veteran. This year is her sixth year of performing here. Her show, “Big in Cambodia” is both hilarious and entertaining as she mixes stories of her travel adventures with her fabulous singing voice. (You can catch a video clip on our Facebook page of Melanie singing at https://www.facebook.com/TheJewishPost/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annette Roman

"Inauguration Vacation: Tales of a Reluctant Artist" - Annette Roman is a California philosophy teacher (at a community college, she told me) who, like many other Americans, has been horrified by the Trump presidency. She weaves a compelling story of joining protests in her home state, then taking it further by going to Washington DC to protest at Trump's inauguration. Along the way she had several encounters with Trump supporters - including a hilarious one with notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. A terrific storyteller and mimic, Roman's show is sure to appeal to anyone who has more than a passing interest in American politics.

 

 

 

 

 

Judah Leblang

"It's Now or Never: My Life in the Late Middle Ages" - Judah Leblang is a 60-year-old Jewish gay man who suffers from sleep apnea and other problems. He also has a compulsion to write. "Why do I write?" he asks, as he opens his intriguing 45-minute show. Because that's who he is. This voyage of self-discovery is painfully honest, but told so masterfully that it had the very large audience watching tonight totally absorbed by Leblang's story. As he explains during his show, Leblang has been honing his craft as a solo performer for quite some time - but has it brought him any satisfaction? That's the intriguing question you're sure to ask yourself after seeing his very raw performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Freedman
"Old-ish"  - written & performed by Susan Freedman. (Note: We haven't seen this show yet, but are offering Susan's own description of the show here.)
Old-ish is Susan Freedman’s fifth one-woman Fringe show.
It’s about aging and death - only WAY funnier!
Susan writes: “My previous shows have had 4-star reviews across Canada, with critics making such comments as: “Hilarious Show”, ”Riveting Storyteller”, and “Full of laughs and definite truths”.
OLD-ish is about eyeing that final curtain with humour and honesty. OLD-ish’s outlook is optimistic; love, connections and laughter are the keys to aging happily and the best dodge against sickness, both physical and mental. Freedman is having a good time, and takes us along for the ride. But there it is – lurking around the corner. Is it near or is it still far in the future? Who knows? In the meantime, Freedman’s laughing and learning the whole way.
This is Susan Freedman’s fifth one-woman Fringe comedy, premiering at the Winnipeg Fringe this summer. Her four previous shows have had critically acclaimed sold-out runs across the Canadian Fringe circuit. Directed by accomplished actor/writer/director (and Susan’s son) Alan Silverman (Lucifer, Riverdale, Supernatural).

 

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