The Ottawa Fringe Mega-Preview!

Last year, Matthew Champ and myself Yayed and Nayed our way through the 2011 Ottawa Fringe, reviewing thirty-three shows, talking to countless performers, creators, and attendees for a series of VLOGs, and ultimately producing close to two hours of video. As many of you know already, we have come back for more!

Now, not many people know this, but jumping over to Fringe 2011 from Should You See It’s usual movie beat was a bit of a last minute idea. In other words, we were totally unprepared. What started as a “we should review a couple of shows at Fringe this year” turned into absolute mayhem. I am a bit of an overachiever.

All that to say, this year we’re -at least a little- prepared. The coverage has already started (as you’re about to see) we’re pleased to have added another reviewer to the mix, Kurt Shantz, and we are all systems go. I’ll talk to you some more shortly, but right now, Matthew and Kurt want to say hello so take a look at our Ottawa Fringe Mega-Preview video.

Trouble watching the video? Watch directly on YouTube instead.

And that, naturally, is just a small sampling of the fifty-two shows available to you at Ottawa Fringe 2012. If fifty-two shows seems daunting, fret not. We’ll be here with you every step of the way, providing the most in depth coverage of Fringe out there and holding to the singular aim of answering that one most important question - Should You See It?

Your first gift, to help you out with your planning, is our downloadable Fringe 2012 schedule. This schedule that we prepared isn’t only downloadable and printable — it’s fully customizable. It’s in an excel (.xls) spreadsheet format allow you to highlight what you want to see or have seen and best plan your Fringe festing.

We’ll be doing the VLOG thing daily (which I may come to regret after the sixth day of editing them), and we’re doing the Tweet thing so that we can tell you first hand what everybody’s saying. What people are seeing, what people are loving, and what people are most looking forward to. You want to know, we want to tell you.

Naturally, we’ll also be doing the review thing. Which we do, as always, on video. Yup, if you didn’t know, our reviewers deliver their reviews on camera. Plus we give those in the shows the chance to add your voice to our videos. Who else does that? We’re not promising to review every show - the Universe takes it as a challenge to defy me when I say something like that - but we will say the odds favour that outcome. In aditional to the videos, make sure you keep an eye on the site and watch for The Followups. We believe that if two of our reviewers see a show, then that show should get two reviews. Only one will be in video form, but all additional reviews will be added in print form to the article. How great is that? And of course comments will be open so you can add your voice to the chorus, too.

And it all starts today. Excited yet? What I want to know is what you’re looking forward to. What’s caught your attention already? What are you planning on making your first show? Tell me in the comments below. (It’ll let us know you’re out there.) I’ll be kicking off Fringe 2012 at Arts Court Theatre for Don’t Make Me Zealous and from there… only Fringe knows. And Twitter, so follow, ya?

Once you’ve left your comment, check out the accompanying photo gallery for this article on our Facebook page. Here’s a sneak peek:

Happy Fringing, y’all.

Allan Mackey

About Allan Mackey

Allan Mackey is editor-in-chief of Production Ottawa, which, really, is too fancy a title. He also acts as show producer for Should You See It, making sure you get your answer in just about two minutes every time. He writes stuff and occasionally turns that stuff into movies. Keep being awesome!

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What people are saying:

  1. Reena Belford says:

    Way to go, guys! Can’t wait to see all those great reviews. Quick! WHAT SHOULD I SEE?!!!!

    • Allan Mackey says:

      That is such a loaded question. :)

      I’ve met a lot of Fringers and heard about a lot of shows and there are SO MANY that sound SO GOOD. I don’t think even I’ll get to see everything I want. So the only way to answer “what should you see” is ask “what are you interested in”?

      For musicals, Alien Predator looks like a riot, Crux sounds good and is a locally set story, and Melanie Gall (from More Power To Your Knitting, Nell) usually has people paying way, way more than $10 to hear her sing so that’s an opportunity to take advantage on.

      If you’re looking for silly fun, there’s Don’t Make Me Zealous which won me over quick and if Space Mystery is nearly as good as Dead unicorn’s Playing Dead from last year, it’s got Win written all over it.

      For Irish/Celtic stylings, Donkey Derby, R U Smarter than an Irishman, or A MacSummer Night’s Dream (which is also a family friendly show) will suit your needs.

      And, OMG, that’s just such a small sample. White Noise is another local story from five beautiful ladies, Aerial Allusions and Little Lady for poetry in motion. I’ve heard people saying good things about Fear Factor: Canine Edition which never impressed me from its title. Speaking of titles, the big prize goes to Tis Pity She’s a Whore. And I think Danti-Dan is going to be the underdog surprise hit of Fringe.

      So excited!

  2. Reena Belford says:

    Aerial Allusions had a great preview at the Fringe Party last night. Incredibly enthralling to watch. I admit I was on the fence about Don’t Make Me Zealous but after your preview, the boyfriend has added it to our MUST SEE list. My current plan is about 4-5 shows. I suspect I’ll get talked in to more. It’s so hard to choose!

    • Bryan says:

      Hi Reena,

      Hope you can add Alien Predator to the mix I think if you liked shows like Evil Dead the Musical or the movies this is one you will definitely enjoy. The music is pretty hooky with inspiration ranging from Black Sabbath to Cole Porter. Also fake blood and fight scenes!!!!


      • Reena Belford says:

        Bryan - the ones listed above were later additions. I DID see Alien Predator on opening night (after my own show). My for sure list was/is: APTM, Tis Pity She’s A Whore, 100 First Kisses, Don’t Make me Zealous and Space Mystery from Outer Space. Loved APTM, btw - great work on the music/lyrics! Currently gearing up for my own show tonight at 11pm. Ugh!

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