VANCOUVER GREENROOM 6: Twelve Vancouver Fringe reviews (from Victoria)

I’ve already seen 12 Vancouver Fringe shows. That’s not because I can time travel—the Vancouver Fringe opens tomorrow, September 7, and runs until the 17th— it’s because I know how to buy a ferry ticket. I sailed across the Georgia Strait to see the dozen shows that are travelling from the Victoria Fringe to Vancouver.

It’s a good year. I especially enjoyed the top four in the list below—I urge you to see Vancouver artist Mack Gordon’s heart-opening Six Fine Lines; if anybody asks you what a Fringe show should look like, this is it—and the top nine all have things to recommend them.

Mack Gordon is presenting Six Fine Lines at the Vancouver Fringe Festival

Mack Gordon opens his heart—with skill—in Six Fine Lines. I defy you not to love this show.

SIX FINE LINES

Yes! An artist is flying.

Mack Gordon’s solo show, Six Fine Lines is as openhearted as it is intelligent, innovative and unpretentious.

In Six Fine Lines, Gordon explores a breakup—somebody else’s, apparently. The difficulty of knowing one another—“Language is all we have to connect us, and it doesn’t. Not quite”—slides into the slipperiness of knowing anything. As Gordon’s on-stage alter ego describes his friend Sarah, whose marriage has collapsed, he acknowledges that we will all form our own ideas of her: “I want her to be real. But she doesn’t have to be constant.”

Each of the play’s four chapters contains six elements: a quote, definition, short story, challenge, poem, and gift. The poems, including one that mentions bandages under change-room benches, are humble but concrete. The stories are faceted with ambiguity. The challenges, including a game of Family Feud played with the audience, are pure hilarity.

And the whole bloody show is a gift. “We all have different things we do to hold our tenderness tight in public”, Gordon says. In Six Fine Lines, he loosens his grip.

At Carousel Theatre on September 8 (10:45 p.m.), 9 (3 p.m.), 10 (7:45 p.m.), 11 (6 p.m.), 13 (10:45 p.m.), 14 (8:00 p.m.), 16 (10:30 p.m.). and 17 (4 p.m.)  [Read more…]