Tymesha Harris performs as Josephine Baker in the show Josephine, on now through Sept. 1 at the Victoria Fringe Festival. Photo by Roberto Gonzalez

Fringe Reviews Pt. 5: Terrific solo shows about famous figures

Monday offers the latest show reviews from the Victoria Fringe Festival, on through Sept. 1

Here’s you’ll find the next batch of reviews for the Victoria Fringe Festival, staged by Intrepid Theatre through Sept. 1 at various venues across downtown Victoria.

For a full schedule of shows and other information, visit intrepidtheatre.com.

Josephine – Dynamite Lunchbox

Adult themes, nudity, musical theatre at Langham Court Theatre through Sept. 1

Wow! Tymisha Harris is one fabulous performer. Whether she is singing a passionate protest song, or dancing in no more than a thong and a pair of bejewelled nipple covers, her huge stage presence fills the auditorium. But she also has a warm personal touch, selecting a couple of people from the audience, to help her dress or to be, for the moment, one of her lovers. Based on the life of Josephine Baker, who burst onto the international stage at age 17, this lady with the larger-than-life personality shocked the U.S. and was adored in France. This is a polished, emotional and heart-warming show, worthy of the West End or Broadway.

***** (out of 5)

– Sheila Martindale

Melanie Gall stars as Deanna Durbin in Ingenue.

Ingénue – Melanie Gall Presents

All Ages, on at The Roxy Theatre through Sept. 1

“One-person show about a famous figure” is practically a subgenre, with shows like Leslie McCurdy’s The Spirit of Harriet Tubman or Michael Hughes’ Mickey and Judy. Melanie Gall’s Ingénue is a respectable entry in that niche, putting the spotlight on 30’s film star Deanna Durbin.

Written and performed by Gall, the piece focuses on Durbin’s complex relationship with fellow star Judy Garland, from the perspective of an older, wiser Durbin giving a rare interview. The songs of the era effectively showcase Gall’s powerhouse vocal range, and her stunning voice alone makes this a worthwhile piece. Add some solid research on Durbin, and an emotional thread in her relationship to Garland, and you’ve got a great Fringe show.

•••• (out of 5)

– Tim Ford

The Psychic Dynasty – Psychic Dynasty

All ages, mind reading, mentalism, magic at Langham Court Theatre through Sept.1

Unfortunately, this shows falls a bit short of the dramatic title. Yes, there is some clever telepathy, which garners appropriate applause, but much of it takes place off the stage, requiring the audience to twist around in the less-than-spacious seats in this pleasant but uncomfortable auditorium.

And there is something slightly unpolished in the presentation, as if it is not quite ready yet for public consumption. Public participation is fine if the spectators are young and energetic, but a mite pathetic when a largely senior and slow population is called upon. This, of course, will be different with each performance, and the principals cannot honestly be blamed for the physical condition of the attendees. But, maybe a rehearsal or two more?

** (out of 5)

– Sheila Martindale

READ Previous Reviews:

From fears realized to a medical mission

From laughing at cancer to experimental theatre

The dance is delightful

Victoria Fringe Festival starts with a bang

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dance Victoria: The Trocks are in town!

Dance Days 2020 performance roster includes two powerhouse presentations

Pacific Opera Victoria exec member earns major honour

Yvette Guigueno to attend prestigious OPERA America leadership program this month in New York

Famed character actor Bill Nighy to be part of 2020 Victoria Film Festival

Nighy to chat with CTV’s Richard Crouse after Feb. 8 screening of the film Hope Gap

ALLAN REID: Like fresh food? Find it in Cook Street Village

Hawaiian-inspired Poke Fresh offers right raw food combination for Monday reviewer’s liking

Victoria’s David Ferguson earns second Chrystal Dance Prize

Dance Victoria awards Suddenly Dance Theatre co-artistic director $20,000 for new project

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Winners announced for inaugural Victoria Arts Council/Monday poetry contest

More than 100 entries received in five categories

Canadian polar bears’ ‘ingenious’ survival seen in BBC Earth series

Film crews also go to Tofino to watch black bears snap up crabs under massive boulders

Spring author’s reading series kicks off early in Sidney

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society hosting Yasuko Thanh and Carla Funk for Feb. 7 event

The winners of London Drugs’ 2019 Amateur Photographer of the Year contest are…

After more than 26,000 entries, the winners have been selected across Western Canada.

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ filmmaker Dean DeBlois among Canadian Oscar nominees

Multiple Oscar-nominated Canadian talents on Academy Award hopefuls list

Grammy winner Lucinda Williams to play Vancouver Island MusicFest

Singer-songwriter has been on artistic director Doug Cox’s wish list for years

Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain on temporary location

Theatre will operate one screen in former Sidney Buy & Sell space for the next 30 months or so

Most Read