Montreal Fringe Review - Alex Cross and His Rise to Fame

Production Ottawa reviewer Matthew Champ is hitting the road and checking out the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. If you’re already out that way, or planning on taking in some Fringe yourself the week before things get underway in Ottawa, should you take the time to see Alex Cross and His Rise to Fame?

Alex Cross and His Rise to Fame is a story that we have seen and heard countless times. A man, down on his luck, decides that he needs fame and fortune to satisfy him, so he sells his soul to the Devil. I nearly skipped this show at Montreal Fringe this year as I had heard rumours on the street that people inside the show’s own production didn’t like it, which is always a very negative sign. But I figured it hadn’t opened yet, so I would go ahead and check it out, as sometimes we are our own harshest critics. Well, while this show was far from the worst I had seen at Fringe this year, it was definitely below mediocre.

Dick Richards or Richards Dick or Dick Dick, whatever you want to call him, is a loser. So the Devil offers him a contract. He would make him rich and famous in exchange for his soul. How could Dick refuse? The Devil changes his name to Alex Cross, not the one made famous by author James Patterson, gives him plastic surgery, sacrifices a baby and Dick Dick (or now we can say Alex Cross) is suddenly famous, money hungry and can now have any girl he could ever want.

While the plot is basic and unoriginal, there seems to be an ever present message floating through this entire play, which is that the music industry is run by Satanic Illuminati. The play abounds with conspiracy theory rhetoric and religious propaganda. I can only hope that this was supposed to play out as satire, the only problem becomes that this play isn’t funny. There isn’t a single joke into the entire play. In fact, the closing of the play perpetuates the religious propaganda and conspiracy theory behind the record labels creating monsters out of musicians.

The only strong suit that this play holds is that it is well rehearsed. The actors know their cues, they know their lines, and they know the work. Some of the actors are probably stronger than their performances; however, they were working with tripe and a bad script is always going to be a bad script.

This play has 3 endings; however, only one will be shown at each show, they are varied throughout the Fringe run. Leading up to the ending the script does spill how the other endings will play out, so even if you don’t get to see a certain ending the possibility of what would happen is discussed. I just wish the show ran a 60 minute run time like most other Fringe shows, as a 75 minute run time is almost a deterrent, as it may interfere with creating a consistent Fringe schedule for the day.


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Matthew Champ

About Matthew Champ

Matthew Champ is the lead movie reviewer for Production Ottawa's Should You See It team, making sure that you know whether or not these movies or plays are worth spending your time or money on. He is also on 101.9 Dawg FM every Friday morning at 7:10 AM chatting movies with Dylan Black. You can follow him on Twitter @matthewschamp.

What people are saying:

  1. Anonymous says:

    I assure you that the only person involved in this show who would have spoke badly about it was the previous Assistant Director/Actor who was fired because he was more committed to touching the girls than actually focusing on his responsibility as an AD and actor in it.

    Everyone in our show currently would not say anything bad about it and it is a great show, even if it isn’t original as you state in your article - but it doesn’t claim to be original. Of course the tale of someone selling their soul to satan is one of the oldest tales and no one is stupid enough to not recognize that.