The 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival is upon us, with over 100 different theatre artists and companies showcased between September 8 to 18 around the city. In no particular order, here are the Comedy With Chai – Fringe Festival Faves for this year:
1) The Secret at Carousel Theatre for Young People
Why do we keep secrets? Why do we reveal them? And what would happen if you kept just one? Join Chelsey Stuyt on a quest to unlock the reason why she tells her mother everything—everything except that one little thing. The Secret weaves together psychology and a parent’s love, culminating in a heartbreaking reveal you won’t soon forget.
2) Til Death: The Six Wives of Henry VIII at The Rio Theatre
Monster Theatre returns with their 2012 Pick of the Fringe Til Death: The Six Wives of Henry VIII – a fast-paced, one woman, hilarious romp with the six wives of King Henry VIII. All in the space of 70 minutes, Fringe powerhouse Tara Travis will introduce us to: the Betrayed Wife, the Scheming Wife, the Peacemaker, the Ugly German, the Tarty One, and the One in Love with Someone Else.
3) Give It Up at The Cultch
Morgan Brayton has it all! Okay, well, she has questions about it all. Where is her husband Scott Baio? When is SNL going to call? What happened to her big break? Did she miss it? Is this it? Will there be snacks? Outlandish characters and true stories combine for big laughs from the award-winning comedian and Fringe Fest “Critic’s Choice”.
4) Not Enough at The Arts Umbrella
In an effort to finally grow the F up, Megan Phillips embarks on a last-ditch gambit: a 10-day gruelling silent meditation retreat. Not the relaxing vacation she was expecting, Megan gets her ass handed to her by demons she didn’t even know she had. A true story of change, forgiveness and becoming enough. One of CBC’s Top 5 “Fab Female-Only Fringe” Selections for 2016.
5) Sea Wall at Havana Theatre
A gripping half hour monologue written by one of Britain’s most powerful playwrights and performed by Brent Hirose. Alex has it all: a great career, a beautiful wife, a wonderful child. But underneath there lies an abyss that threatens to consume him. A beautiful play about family, fatherhood and regret.
6) Charlatan! at the Waterfront Theatre
Travis Bernhardt returns to the Vancouver Fringe to read minds, tell fortunes, and speak to the dead. Charlatan! was the winner of the Favourite cabaret/variety/magic/musical at the 2016 Victoria Fringe Festival.
7) One Good Marriage at The Cultch
Steph (Ese Atawo) and Stewart (Dan Willows) are celebrating their first anniversary. She’s an English teacher; he’s a high-school librarian. At the heart of the occasion, though, is a terrible sorrow. You see, Steph and Stewart arrived home from their blissful honeymoon to find that something terrible had happened? Blackly hilarious and deeply moving, this two-hander moves from pathos to humour and back again as a tragic story is revealed. Directed by Mike Mackenzie.
8) Hip.Bang! presents The History of Romance at The Improv Centre
The History of Romance is the authoritative history of romantic thought you never realized you wanted, but have always truly needed. From Romeo and Juliet to the ass-bending world that is modern dating, Hip.Bang!’s first full length sketch show since their hit WHITE PANTS will make you laugh like a child who has just learned about ice cream.
9) I Had Sex Until My Heart Stopped at Studio 16
Cheating death and finding love in the modern age. Cameron MacLeod’s true stories of flat lining, deadly food allergies, and awkward sexual escapades will have you on the edge of your seat. Join him as he guides you through a life lived and almost lost in this hilariously honest one-man show.
10) Sink or Swim at The Rio Theatre
Beverley Elliott, winner of 2014 Pick of Vancouver Fringe, is thrilled to be back with brand new stories and songs. A romp through the early years from the safety of the family farm to the daunting one room schoolhouse, grade 8 bullys and the choppy waters of Boiler Beach. Think Little House on the Prairie meets Lord of the Flies. Navigating those first surprises, beytrayals and ephiphonies of life, that shape us all and move us closer to the adult we will become.
Listen to Comedy With Chai on CKNW on Friday nights at 7:20 pm.