Into the Tango – Pointetango
All ages, at the Metro Studio through Sept. 1
Dramatic! Passionate! Awe-inspiring! Erin Scott-Kafadar and Alexander Richardson present a wonderful program of dance, which was voted the favourite dance show at the 2018 Victoria Fringe. With amazing versatility, Scott-Kafadar begins with bare feet, proceeds to elegant stiletto heels, and on to a pointe ballet shoe on one foot with the stiletto on the other. Richardson is lithe, and they dance as one body, with grace and precision. There is also an element of fun in their facial expressions as they move through the lighter pieces in the repertoire. And their various costumes reflect the tempo of the dance. Definitely a must-see!
***** (out of 5)
– Sheila Martindale
GRL PWR | Salty Broad Productions
PG 12+ coarse language, on through Aug. 31 at Metro Studio
GRL PWR is exactly what it says on the tin: “A Musical History of 90s Girl Group Feminism.” It’s also an immediate crowd pleaser, exploding onto the stage with a boundless energy that makes its 55-minutes of dance, music, and rumination on “five rules that 90s groups taught us” whiz by.
The Fringe program description calls to audience members who are fans of TLC or Spice Girls, but there’s plenty here for fans of “girl group” music of any era to enjoy. Insightful, supercharged, and just plain fun, GRL PWR is sure to stick out in many a Fringe fan’s memory as a Spice-y, entertaining show.
****1/2 (out of 5)
– Tim Ford
Money on the Table | Bucket Head Productions
PG 12+ coarse language, violence, dark comedy, on through Sept. 1 at St. Andrew’s Kirk Hall
An unconscious man sits strapped to a chair, his three kidnappers wake him and demand he give them access to… well, it wasn’t precisely made clear. Money on the Table never fully delivers on a potentially interesting set up, with its characters rotating in a power dynamic that never entirely makes sense, their motivations a cipher and their stakes oddly muted for a play that involves kidnapping and torture.
Tonally, Money on the Table tries to thread the needle between comedy and drama, but is only part way successful. There are genuine moments of levity, and there’s talent here, but it needed more fleshing out of character and theme.
** (out of 5)
– Tim Ford
Let’s Prank Call Each Other | Zach Dorn
PG 12+ coarse language, adult themes, on through Sept. 1 at St. Andrew’s Kirk Hall
LA-based puppeteer Zach Dorn presents a series of rapid-fire puppet vignettes, utilizing a mixture of projection, a handheld camcorder and a bevy of paper cutouts, dolls, and nifty hand-crafted sets. Dorn’s tiny tales of dogs, prank calls and strip clubs add up to a surprising meditation on loneliness, personal growth, and quirky hangups that mask a kind of existential dread.
Let’s Prank Call Each Other has a very DIY, intimate style to it, and blurs the lines between reality, fiction and folly. It’s a trippy, surreal experience, and has a solid emotional core to it.
**** (out of 5)
– Tim Ford