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Two Toronto synagogues attacked over the Canada Day weekend in a window-smashing spree

Pride of Israel Synagogue in North York was attacked in multiple places on the morning of June 30, 2024. An attacker threw small stones through their stained glass windows and shattered the window panes over their main entrance. (Photo by Carl Zeliger)

June 30, 2024 By MICHAEL FRAIMAN (CJN) When members of Pride of Israel Synagogue in Toronto began showing up for Sunday prayer services on the morning of June 30, in the middle of the Canada Day long weekend, they were shocked to discover several windows shattered, holes in their stained glass and stones scattered onto the bimah.
The congregants stood there for a moment, rattled and disappointed. But that didn’t stop them from holding their 9 a.m. services.
“We’re gonna go on,” Carl Zeliger, vice-chairman of the congregation, told The CJN over the phone as the sounds of broken glass cracked under his feet. “Our service continued today. All [the vandal] accomplished was maybe a five-minute delay in the start of our services. We’re gonna continue. This isn’t going to help them.”
The custodian of the building, which is located near the intersection of Steeles Ave. and Bathurst St., first noticed the damage after arriving at 8 a.m. Police were called by 8:30. A forensic team gathered evidence for several hours until they gave the congregation the green light to clean things up.
The attack allegedly occurred earlier that morning. A nearby resident told Zeliger that they were awoken by a loud crash shortly before 3 a.m. According to Zeliger, this neighbour looked out their window and saw a motorcyclist wearing a helmet and speeding away. The neighbour then called the police at 3:02 a.m., according to a Toronto Police Service press release.
Police added that they believe the same suspect attacked the Kehillat Shaarei Torah synagogue at 3:30 a.m., throwing another rock at a window—the third such attack on the Bayview Ave. and Fifeshire Rd. building since mid-April, along with an incident involving a dead raccoon left in its parking lot.
Michael Gilmore, executive director of Kehillat Shaarei Torah, confirmed to The CJN that their video cameras captured on tape the motorcyclist pull up to their shul, remove two small objects from their pockets and throw the objects at their windows.
However, because the synagogue had not yet repaired their windows from the previous attack, this latest suspect merely threw the objects at polycarbonate covers that shielded already-broken glass.
“These three separate attacks have encapsulated the very real and present dangers that the Jewish community across Canada faces daily,” Gilmore told The CJN. “Fortunately, as Jewish generations before us have done, we come together as a community stronger, more united, and with a greater sense of purpose than ever before.”
In their press release, Toronto police confirmed they are treating the investigation as being “a suspected hate-motivated offence” and will be increasing police presence in both areas.
The damage to the Pride of Israel building, Zeliger says, “is quite significant.” The attacker threw two large, heavy rocks through the windows above the main entrance. They also threw a couple smaller stones that pierced (but did not shatter) the stained glass windows that lead to the sanctuary. Those stones ended up on the bimah.
In addition, the attacker seemingly attempted to break a glass door with a different rock, but that door held strong.
As of Sunday afternoon, the congregants had already contacted professionals to fix the glass, and made immediate plans to call their insurance company and review their safety and security protocols.
Pride of Israel Synagogue traces its roots to 1905, when the Pride of Israel Sick Benefit Society was founded in a house on Chestnut Street in downtown Toronto. The grassroots organization sent doctors and money to community members who were sick or in need. The congregation, which describes itself as “traditionally conservative” yet independent of any Jewish denomination, eventually moved into its current building in North York in 1969.
Its name, Zeliger believes, is partly what made it a target in the long aftermath of Oct. 7.
“If you view this as anything other than antisemitism, I don’t think you’re paying attention to the reality today,” he says. “My parents were Holocaust survivors. This hurts. I love my parents, but I’m happy they’re not here to see this.”
This incident makes Pride of Israel the latest in a wave of antisemitic attacks that has washed over all of Canada, with Jewish buildings being lit aflame, shot at and vandalized in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and many other cities on a recurring basis.
What struck Zeliger most was how this happened on the eve of July 1.
“We as Canadians are supposed to be joyful of who we are, where we are. But that includes people of all different races, colours, religions, whatever. This is really an affront to everyone—that this is what happened on a Canada Day weekend. It’s basically saying our values dont mean anything. I really would like to see the silent majority come to terms with this. We have to do better. We can make this a better Canada.”

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Fringe show asks: Was giving the secret to the atomic bomb to the Russians morally justifiable?

left: Jem Rolls; right: Ted Hall

By BERNIE BELLAN When I took a look at at the Fringe Festival shows I was going to be previewing on this website (also in the print edition of the Jewish Post), one show intrigued me in a different way than the others: Jem Rolls’ one-man show: THE KID WAS A SPY.
In his blurb describing the show, Jem wrote:

The true story of Ted Hall.
Brooklyn, October 1944. The youngest physicist in the Manhattan project asks himself a very big question.
Will the world be safer after the war if he gives the bomb to the Russians?
And he does.
• Events take place in the world of OPPENHEIMER

This show takes the audience from the murky world of spies to the idyll of young love. From teenage friendship to stark treason. From big decision to deep consequence. From high idealism to extreme cynicism. And from pure science to Hiroshima and the electric chair.
The show also brings in the stories of Klaus Fuchs, the greatest atomic spy; and Ethel Rosenberg, executed yet innocent.
THE KID WAS A SPY is the third in Jem Rolls’ series of shows about Jewish Nuclear Physicists no-one has ever heard of.
Which is, to put it mildly, the niche of a niche of a niche.
One only realistically enterable in the unique world of Canadian Fringe.
Which most Canadians do not realize is unique.
The first two shows in the series, THE INVENTOR OF ALL THINGS, about Leo Szilard, and THE WALK IN THE SNOW, about Lise Meitner, have each seen multiple sellouts and five star reviews.

I’m sorry I hadn’t seen the first two shows in what must be one of the strangest series of Fringe shows (which itself extols “strange”), but when Jem Roll happened to contact me prior to this year’s Fringe Festival – which he had never done before, I thought to myself: “Now this is a show I’ve got to see.”
So, on the first night of the Fringe Festival I got on my bike and headed to the Fringe – of course ending up at the wrong venue – something I’ve done quite often before. I raced to the correct venue and, after taking a very creaky elevator to the 4th floor of a building in the Exchange District, arrived just in time to catch the beginning of what turned out be a fascinating 57-minute monologue.
I rather doubt that anyone else in the audience had heard of Ted Hall before this show either – but, after listening to Jem Rolls describe Hall, he certainly seemed a familiar enough character for anyone who knows their history. I had read quite a bit about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg – going back to when I was still in high school and I read a book called “The Implosion Conspiracy,” about the Rosenbergs, by lawyer Louis Nizer. I’ve read many articles about Soviet spies, but had never heard of Ted Hall prior to Jem Rolls’ show.
Several years ago I also read a terrific book by Canadian Ben Macintyre, titled “Agent Sonya,” about another Jewish spy for the Russians of whom I had not heard, whose full name was Ursula Kuczynski. (You can read my review of that book here: Agent Sonya)
So, when I read what Jem Rolls’ show was going to be about, I decided I wanted to make it the first Fringe show I would see this year.
Rather than simply telling what in and of itself is a fascinating story, Jem asks members of the audience to keep their minds open when it comes to assessing the morality of what Ted Hall did.
As Rolls explains – in his typically animated style, Hall was a precociously brilliant student who was tapped to be the youngest member of the Manhattan Project – made famous last summer with the release of the film, “Oppenheimer.”
Yet, amazingly – as Rolls goes on to note, Hall was an avowed Communist – something that should have excluded him right from the start from participating in a project that was shrouded in the utmost secrecy. In fact, Hall’s attempts to collaborate with the Russians were met with disbelief by the KGB at first; here was a pimply-faced kid offering to give them (and not sell them) the keys to the deadliest weapon ever devised by man to that point.
Without going into too much detail about how Rolls develops the story, he does say that he himself couldn’t figure out how it was that Hall was never arrested by the FBI, nor later by MI6 in Britain, which is to where he had moved later in his career.
Rolls concludes that Ted Hall’s brother, Ed, who was an even more brilliant scientist than Ted, must have intervened to save his brother’s skin. (In talking to him afterwards though, Rolls conceded that his conclusion is based on surmising; no one has been able to establish conclusively how Ted Hall was never arrested – although he was interrogated by both the FBI and MI6.)
Throughout the show Rolls reminds the audience how views of Soviet Russia changed over time – and how someone young and idealistic – as Ted Hall was, could have thought it was not only justifiable to give the secret to the atomic bomb to the Russians, given everything we know about how abominably the US has behaved in so many ways over the years, perhaps we should be treating him as a hero rather than a villain.
In fact, at the very end of the show, Rolls asks the audience to vote on that very question: Was Hall right to give the secret to the bomb to the Russians? I won’t tell you how the audience voted on opening night, but Rolls did say that the vote conformed with how other audiences have voted.
THE KID WAS A SPY is on at Venue 22, 245 McDermot Avenue, 4th floor, through July 28.

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PARIM Board forces out principled president-elect who called out Dr. Gem Newman for valedictory address to U of M med students

Dr. Matthew Bzura

By BECKY CHISICK Past Secretary and President-elect of the Professional Association of Residents and Interns of Manitoba (PARIM), Dr. Matthew Bzura, is a man of courage and admirable ethics. I spoke with Dr. Bzura and gained insight into what led him to voice his concerns and then file an official complaint against Dr. Gem Newman, valedictorian for the class of 2024 at the Max Rady School of Medicine.
Dr. Bzura detailed his time working with a senior internal medicine resident who asked him if he was Jewish (due to his “look”). When Dr. Bzura inquired why the senior resident asked that question, the response he received was “All Jews want to do internal medicine in Manitoba”, just one example of the many false assumptions made about Jews.
He explained to me that as the son of Roman Catholic immigrant parents from Poland, the feelings of discrimination, disrespect, and alienation resonated with him. He did not speak up at that time and said, “It still haunts me”. Dr. Bzura feels strongly that it is important to denounce voices that divide and alienate.

Gem Newman Facebook post

Anotber Gem Newman Facebook post

On May 23, 2024, Dr. Bzura spoke out on social media, expressing his disappointment over the valedictorian address at the Max Rady College of Medicine’s 2024 graduation ceremony, and exposing Dr. Gem Newman’s antisemitic social media posts – dating back to 2018. Dr, Bzura then lodged a formal complaint against Dr. Newman with the college’s office of professionalism.
While Dr. Bzura was flooded by supportive comments from the Jewish community, the weeks that followed became more and more concerning. Following Dr. Bzura’s complaint, a complaint was filed against him. The complaint came from Dr. Matthew Thiessen, president (now past president) of PARIM -the same colleague and friend that sent him messages encouraging Dr. Bzura to run for president of PARIM…. the same colleague who sent him supportive messages following his post on May 23!
Dr. Bzura’s decision to communicate via social media and written letters arose from his own will and interest, which resulted in many people reaching out to him, offering support.
He went on to note that “I then reached out to the Jewish community and spoke with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). “They gave me the support I needed and some history of what the Jewish community has been going through. I was not aware of the magnitude of antisemitism right now. CIJA is well organized and equipped to assist in these circumstances.”

Dr. Bzura became the president-elect of PARIM in March 2024, effective July 1, 2024. In the June 24 board meeting called by PARIM leadership, the decision was passed to strip Dr. Bzura of his duties as secretary (his board position at that time). PARIM’s legal counsel was present, yet Dr. Bzura was denied the right to have his own counsel there. Paul Edwards, Dr. Bzura’s lawyer, said that “he was treated very poorly” and referred to PARIM’s actions as “a relentless effort to remove him”.
On July 9, 2024, Dr. Bzura wrote An Open Letter to PARIM Members and Stakeholders formally announcing his resignation as president and detailing the events that led to his decision.
I asked him why he chose to resign rather than fight the decision? Dr. Bzura said there were simply more important topics for PARIM to resolve, and dragging out the appeal process would have infringed on valuable time.
After a short nine days as president, there was no hint of resentment in his voice, which speaks to Dr. Bzura’s character. “If I made one resident in our (Manitoba residents and interns) community not feel alone, then I have done my job.”

Dr. Charles Bernstein, president of the newly created Jewish Physicians of Manitoba (JPAM), said, “Jewish and non-Jewish physicians are bewildered as to what evolved with Dr. Bzura and PARIM.” Dr Bernstein added that “actions taken by PARIM seem appalling and need to be addressed. As physicians it is our role to not make others feel uncomfortable”.
PARIM has done the opposite in this case – by not allowing Dr. Bzura the right to have his counsel present, and providing no credible explanation as to why he was being stripped of his duties as secretary – six days before his term was set to expire.

Following the valedictorian speech on May 16, the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, in partnership with CIJA have been in communication with leadership at the University of Manitoba and the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.
“Earlier this year, we started working with Jewish physicians to support the launch of their organization (JPAM) and to elevate their advocacy efforts and reach. This is a sign that the community must get involved against rampant and systematic discrimination against our community and the Jewish values we embrace,” said Gustavo Zentner, Vice-President of CIJA, Manitoba & Saskatchewan.
Jeff Lieberman, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, stated, “The Jewish Federation and its advocacy agent, CIJA, are constantly engaged at all levels in fighting against Jew-hatred and the singling out of the state of Israel. Having launched the CIJA role five months ago, we are seeing pivotal support to community organizations and allies across Manitoba as we fulfill the federation’s mandate to protect Jewish life in Winnipeg.”

A joint release by CIJA and the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg was emailed to the community on July 11 stating:

The Jewish community has a long history of building and contributing to the medical profession in Manitoba. This has been recorded in history and recognized by the government and medical institutions in Manitoba, across Canada, and around the world.

It is concerning to see that PARIM has allowed a process against someone taking a moral stand that highlighted how deeply divisive a speech like the one given was and how profoundly it affected a minority community.

We thank Dr. Bzura for his decision to stand up and speak out against such a one-sided speech.
Gustavo Zentner added, “There is hard work ahead of us. We are fighting an evil and organized global movement designed to single out and intimidate the Jewish community. This is the time to undertake meaningful actions and engage in open dialogue with people at work, school, and social circles. We are working with our governments, universities, business groups and allies to ensure we are well represented. We will not accept being boxed and shunned from living freely and expressing our Jewish identity in all aspects of life in Canada.”

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Jewish performers at upcoming Winnipeg Fringe Festival July 17-28

Alli Perlov: One Human Being Potentially Comedic Performance of The Nightmare Before Christmas

By BERNIE BELLAN As has been my long-time custom, I try to find Fringe shows that feature Jewish performers or playwrights – or, as is sometimes the case – plays that have a Jewish theme.
This year will see a very large number of Jewish performers, many of whom are repeat Fringe performers, but we will also have one play to be performed by one of the Fringe Festival’s most popular performers: Jem Rolls who, while he is not Jewish, has chosen for his theme this year a most unusual subject
(For information about venues and show times go to Winnipegfringe.com)

Alli Perlov: One Human Being Potentially Comedic Performance of The Nightmare Before Christmas
Alli Perlov has been a theatre kid her entire life. Her experiences include training at Manitoba Theatre for Young People, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg, and a brief career in film and television in her teens.
For the past 13 years, Perlov has been a performing arts teacher in Winnipeg, teaching courses in musical theatre, improv and drama to students from Grades 6 to 12. In an effort to continue practicing what she teaches, Alli Perlov has mounted three one-person Fringe plays starting in 2017 and brings her fourth to this year’s festival with a new work for her most favourite film, “A One Human Being, Potentially Comedic Performance of The Nightmare Before Christmas”.
Some teachers take the summer off to recharge, while others mount a one-person Fringe festival show. In a similar approach to her 2018/2023 show, Perlov tackles her favourite film of all time in,
“A One Human Being Potentially Comedic Performance of The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Local performing arts teacher Alli Perlov aims to leave the audience in stitches as she performs dozens of creepy characters from the iconic 1993 Tim Burton stop-motion film.  
In a musical parody full of charm and can-do spirit, Perlov tackles the task of making “try-hard” a compliment. Condensing the score to 50 minutes of music, and weaved with narrative, critiques and silly puns, everyone in the theatre is guaranteed a good time and a load of laughs. 

Melanie Gall (3 separate shows): FORBIDDEN CABARET, STITCH IN TIME, ROCKIN’ BLUEBIRD (kids’ show)
Melanie Gall has been a Fringe favourite for years. Last year she performed in 3 separate shows – and she’s back doing 3 shows again!

FORBIDDEN CABARET
Hidden in the back alley of a Broadway theatre is the grittiest, most decadent club in New York. The year is 1934. Unlicensed musical entertainment is prohibited and the Dirty Blues are banned. But not at Club Hirondelle – and when the midnight hour strikes, the forbidden cabaret begins with some of the naughtiest songs from (almost) 100 years ago.
Featuring a dozen (real!) banned hits, including: “Boobs,” “What Can You Buy a Nudist on His Birthday?” and the Yiddish Theatre hit, “Mein Butcher.”
Melanie Gall is the award-winning performer of sellout hits Ingenue (5 STARS), American Songbook Experience (5 STARS) and Toast to Prohibition (5 STARS).

STITCH IN TIME
Excitement! Drama! Romance! And…knitting? A scintillating cabaret featuring ‘lost’ knitting songs of World War I and World War II.
Bring your knitting (or crochet) and stitch along to these funny, toe-tapping, needle-clicking tunes. Come out and have a ball! Melanie Gall presents over a dozen quirky historic songs, including “More Power to Your Knitting, Nell!” and “The Knitting Itch.”
During the wars, millions of women knit for soldiers and dozens of knitting songs appeared. After the wars, these songs were close to disappearing forever. But now, this music — a clever, sweet and entertaining footnote in history — will live again.
FIVE STARS – Glam Adelaide, Southside Advertiser
“Divine voice, highly recommended” – Fringe Review UK
“Cute, charming and funny” – Plank Magazine

ROCKIN’ BLUEBIRD (kids’ show)
Bluebird Scraps has always wanted to be a rock star. She dreams of bright lights, a cool costume, and thunderous applause. But the other birds just don’t understand! All the robins and sparrows sing together in their trees, but Scraps has a squawk that just doesn’t fit. With your help, she’ll find her voice and rock the show!

LEAPIN’ LOUIE LICHTENSTEIN
We sent an email to a Fringe performer by the name of Louie Lichtenstein, asking him if he was Jewish. The answer was yes. Here’s what Louie sent back:

Hello hard working Manitoba Jewish Media folks,

Leapin’ Louie, the most explosive Lithuanian Jewish Cowboy Comedian to ever come out of Oregon, is on his way to Winnipeg Fringe.
It’s Kids Fringe but awesome for adults too. An environmental theme no less.
Fly Through Time
with Leapin’ Louie Lichtenstein
A cowboy comedy circus show about animals who fly
Kids Fringe Manitoba Theatre For Young People
Pay what you can
Leapin’ Louie uses circus, cowboy tricks, a six-foot unicycle, and lots of comedy to explore all those wild critters, including us, who fly.
In 400 million years five amazing groups of animals developed flight: Insects, pterosaurs, birds, bats and finally humans. Only 66 years after the Wright Brothers invented the airplane, —we landed on the moon. We’re moving so fast! Can we leave enough room for our amazing wild ecosystems as we jet into the future? It’s a biodiversity science education show that’s really fun for adults and kids.
Leapin’ Louie is a master of physical comedy, trick roping, whip cracking, and juggling. He has performed one-person Leapin’ Louie shows in 35 different countries around the world, including many tours of Europe, Japan and Australia. He is considered the most explosive Lithuanian Jewish Cowboy Comedian to ever come out of Oregon, USA. This is his first time at Winnipeg Fringe.

“‘Awesome’ is a terrible word, but there’s no shame using it – in the truest sense – to describe Leapin’ Louie” Broadway Baby ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)

Keir Cutler: JOAN OF ARC ASCENDING
“Joan of Arc is easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced.” Mark Twain
A new work, created and performed by Keir Cutler. For his 17th presentation at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Keir Cutler will perform a captivating world premiere show that invites audiences to rediscover the legendary true story of Joan of Arc. His portrayal defies contemporary doubt and invites wonder, probing Joan’s life through the lens of the miraculous.
The show also features live music by University of Manitoba musicology grad student, Manitoban Kyla Kelsey, and onstage original art work by Michael Cutler, Keir’s brother.

Montrealer Keir Cutler has been called “a masterful entertainer,” (Winnipeg Free Press) “a marvel to watch,” (Toronto Sun) and “a phenomenal performer!” (winnipegonstage.com)
Keir has a PhD in theatre from Wayne State University in Detroit, a playwriting diploma from the National Theatre School of Canada, He is the writer/performer of twelve solo works, and the author of multiple plays and books. He is a veteran of more than 100 fringe and theatre festivals.

Jem Rolls: THE KID WAS A SPY
The true story of Ted Hall.
Brooklyn, October 1944. The youngest physicist in the Manhattan project asks himself a very big question.
Will the world be safer after the war if he gives the bomb to the Russians?
And he does.
• Events take place in the world of OPPENHEIMER
• Jem Rolls has done more Fringes than anyone else on earth … [Except Alex Dallas.]

This show takes the audience from the murky world of spies to the idyll of young love. From teenage friendship to stark treason. From big decision to deep consequence. From high idealism to extreme cynicism. And from pure science to Hiroshima and the electric chair.

The show also brings in the stories of Klaus Fuchs, the greatest atomic spy; and Ethel Rosenberg, executed yet innocent.
THE KID WAS A SPY is the third in Jem Rolls’ series of shows about Jewish Nuclear Physicists no-one has ever heard of.
Which is, to put it mildly, the niche of a niche of a niche.
One only realistically enterable in the unique world of Canadian Fringe.
Which most Canadians do not realize is unique.

The first two shows in the series, THE INVENTOR OF ALL THINGS, about Leo Szilard, and THE WALK IN THE SNOW, about Lise Meitner, have each seen multiple sellouts and five star

reviews.

Randy Ross: TALES OF A RELUCTANT WORLD TRAVELER 
Novelist and Fringe veteran Randy Ross provides an unflinching look at world travel and the writing life, while bringing new meaning to suffering for one’s art.
 The Show: Tales of a Reluctant World Traveler is the story of how a Boston homebody turned a rotten, solo trip around the globe into a comedy novel and an acclaimed one-man play. The show is part travelogue, part performance, and part off-kilter author talk. A must-see for book lovers, writers, travelers, whiners, kvetches, and misanthropes. Please note: The show carries content warnings for gooey diseases, heartless publishers, and liquor made from cobras.
 The Performer: Randy Ross is a Boston-area novelist and story-teller. He has performed at more 30 fringe festivals around the U.S., Canada, and in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2007, Ross took a four-month, solo trip around the world and learned to say in three languages: “Speak English?” “Got Pepto-Bismol?” and “Is this the evacuation helicopter?” His shows and novel were inspired by the trip.

Adam Schwartz (producer): NEUROHILARITY EXPOSED
SHOWCASING INTERSECTIONAL COMEDY AT FRINGE FEST
Neuodivergent Cast of Winnipeg Comics Includes Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+, Asian, and Other Perspectives

About Neurohilarity
Neurohilarity is a non-profit organization created to give neurodivergent artists a stage to share their stories and promote a more positive representation of neurodiversity.
It was started in 2022 by Adam Schwartz.
Award-winning comedy showcase Neurohilarity is back again at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, but this year, it’s taking its mandate of amplifying underrepresented voices one step further with an ultra-diverse cast that highlights the intersectionality of neurodivergence.   
This is the third year that Autistic comedian and producer Adam Schwartz has brought Neurohilarity to the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and he’s excited to show how neurodivergent and disability-centric comedy can look so many different ways. At the crossroads of disability, race, gender, and sexuality, there is no shortage of weird things to laugh about.

The stellar lineup includes a few familiar faces from last year’s festival run—which earned the Jenny Revue Mind and Body: The Health and Wellness Award. Returning performers include Danielle Kayahara, whom the Winnipeg Free Press called “self-deprecating, sympathetic and downright adorable as she describes her compulsion to ‘overthink everything’ while pausing to second-guess her comments.”
This year’s newcomers to the Neurohilarity stage include up-and-comer Kaitlynn Brightnose (IndigE-Girl Comedy), and comedy veteran Rollin Penner (Yuk Yuk’s, CBC, Winnipeg Comedy Festival). The show will be hosted by ADHD dynamo Carole Cunningham, a regular host at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club who is often accompanied onstage by her chihuahua, Karen.

Willow Rosenberg: A LESBIAN IN A BEAR STORE
From new playwright Willow Rosenberg, comes a deeply personal, funny, and emotional journey through her mom’s Beanie Baby collection. “A Lesbian in a Bear Store” has something for everyone. Including adorable animals, all of the gay, some of the Jewish, and a special appearance by one of the most angsty teenage poems you’
Tickets are $12 in advance, or bring your favourite plushie for discounted $10 tickets at the door.

Jay Stoller: UBUNTU
Visiting musicians from South Africa join local drumming group
Local African drummer Jay Stoller is thrilled to announce the upcoming production of Ubuntu, an interactive performance that brings to life the power of working together as a community.  This exciting show is set to take place at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival from July 18 – 26.
 Ubuntu will be a highly unique production at this year’s Fringe.  Not only is it a collaboration of musicians from Winnipeg and South Africa, the audience will be fully participating in the show:  everyone in attendance will have an African djembe drum to play along with the musicians on stage.  Yes, there will be 200+ drums in the theatre!
 Jay and his local drum group members are excited to welcome drummer extraordinaire Tiny Modise and vocalist Nosipho Mtotoba, both from Soweto, South Africa.
Ubuntu is a Southern African philosophy that says ‘I am because we are’.  Through the interactive show, the power of drumming together will be demonstrated as Winnipeg’s Fringe community makes amazing music together.
(And yes, we asked Jay whether he’s related to any Stollers in Winnipeg, to which he replied, “Yes, we do have some family with the same last name, although probably second cousins.”) 

Benji Rothman: REVIEWING THE FREE PRESS

The Winnipeg Free Press has run amok, reviewing each and every Fringe show for decades, completely unabated and without recourse. Well now, it’s their turn.

In this brand new show, Benji Rothman takes the Winnipeg Free Press to task, diving deep into their history and casting judgement on their performance as Manitoba’s leading news outlet.

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