Fringe 2017 – – Puck Bunnies – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4. 5 of 5 stars

Puck Bunnies

Guys in Disguise

Venue 12, Varscona Theatre
10329 83 Avenue

Fri. Aug. 18 – 3 p.m.
Sat. Aug. 19 – 5 p.m.
Sun. Aug. 20 – 5 p.m.
Mon. Aug. 21 – 9 p.m.
Wed. Aug. 23 – 7 p.m.
Thurs. Aug. 24 – 7 p.m.
Fri. Aug. 25 – 5 p.m.
Sat. Aug. 26 – 5 p.m.
Sun. Aug. 27 – 3 p.m.

Duration: 60 minutes

4.5 of 5 stars

Within the best of comedy is always slight tragedy.

Puck Bunnies is one of the best conceptions and hilarious executions of human superficiality that the  Guys in Disguise comedy troupe has ever done.

And yet it’s based on pathos – the stunning banality of young women in small towns where the end-all and be-all is to snare and hopefully marry a local hockey player.

But what fertile ground for high and hilarious comedy – especially the triumvirate of hockey player girlfriends Tina, Tammy and Tanya as played by three great drag-queen comedians – Trevor Schmidt, Darrin Hagen and Jason Hardwick. 

They all steal the show! Schmidt’s Tanya is the hairdresser, the leader, the wisecracker, the dominate female … but, oh dear, her goalie boyfriend’s masculinity is becoming increasingly suspect. Schmidt’s shrieking “OH MY GOD” gets better with every repetition.  Hagen’s Tammy may have scored big time with a teensy-weeny promise ring from team captain Clint. But she’s had his (ugly) baby, and neither Clint nor his parents are particularly pleased. Hardwick’s Tina is so sweet, but dumb as a post, and Tammy and Tanya are uncertain whether Tina should be admitted to their inner circle … unless she drops her incarcerated (like Shirley MacLaine? Tina asks) boyfriend and hooks up with a currently active hockey player.

It’s interesting that drag queen comedy can get away with politically incorrect satire for which anybody else would be dragged over hot coals. Nobody is better at satirizing white-trash trailer park lifestyle than Guys in Disguise, because these characters, while hugely exaggerated for comic effect, are really out there in every resource-dependent small town in Canada.

And while Tina, Tanya and Tammy are such fertile comedic territory and are used in spectacular fashion by this trio, there is a sub-text here – perhaps some sympathy or deep understanding for the sad circumstances of the small-town puck bunny lives that Guys in Disguise parodies.

Perhaps that’s what gives this show its little extra edge within its general and insightful hilarity.