HicksBiz Blog

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The CANADA SHOW: The Complete History of Canada in One Hour– Review by GRAHAM HICKS 2.5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The CANADA SHOW: The Complete History of Canada in One Hour– Review by GRAHAM HICKS 2.5 of 5 stars Monster Theatre Venue 2, Backstage Theatre, 10330 84 Avenue  Fri. Aug. 18 – 7:45 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – noon Mon. Aug. 21 – 3:30 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 5:45 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 2 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 5:15 p.m. 2.5 of 5 stars Several Fringe years ago, I saw a really good show that had much the same title and theme – i.e. the history of Canada told in one hour. It was terrific.  This one pales in comparison.  Lots of enthusiasm, not much meat. And no deep understanding of Canadian history from which to draw genuine satire and comedy. In fact this one is quite trite and shallow. Making fun of the War Measures Act?  I didn’t laugh at any of the jokes. But the Backstage Theatre was filled – and about half the audience seemed to greatly enjoy the show, while the other h ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds  – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds  Plain JaneTheatre Venue 3, Walterdale Theatre, 10322 83 Ave.  Fri. Aug. 18 – 8:45 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 2:30 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 7:15 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 12 noon Sat. Aug. 26 – 4:30 p.m. Duration: 90 minutes 4 of 5 stars Every Fringe needs its classic American dysfunctional family psycho-drama play – of which there are many.  Because the roles are wonderfully meaty for the actors and the plays have stood up for decade upon decade.  Plus there’s a need on the audience’s part to balance out the silliness and zaniness of most Fringe Festival shows with some sobriety, serious acting and serious reflection. The Effect of Gamma Rays  on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds is a classic, detailing the breakdown of an American family throug ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The 11 O’Clock Number! The Improvised Musical – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4.5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The 11 O’Clock Number! The Improvised Musical  – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4.5 of 5 stars The 11 O'Clock Number! The Improvised Musical Grindstone Theatre Venue 16, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Sanctuary Stage 10037 84 Ave. Thurs. Aug. 17 – 10:15 p.m Fri. Aug. 18 – 6:30 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 9:45 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 5:15 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 9:45 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 5 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24 – 6 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 9:45 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 3:30 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 4.5 of 5 stars Move over, Rapid Fire, Die-Nasty, Gordon’s Big Bald Head, Atomic Improv ….  There’s a new kid in town! Actually not so new:  Grindstone Theatre has been around for some five years, but with this Fringe is emerging from the underground into much wider recognition. Here’s the rub. Not only is this Edmonton ensemble really good at stage improvisation &hel ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Apple Tree – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 3 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Apple Tree  – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 3 of 5 stars The Apple Tree Plain Jane Theatre Venue 12, Varscona Theatre 10329 83 Ave. Thurs. Aug. 17 – 9 p.m Fri. Aug. 18 – 5 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 7 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 3 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 1 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 5 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24 – 1 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 9 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 9 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 3:30 p.m. Duration: 65 minutes 3 of 5 stars The Apple Tree is a light, sweet two-hander, a not-so-well-known musical from the same team that wrote Fiddler on the Roof.  It’s a gentle, humourous, show, using Adam and Eve to illustrate the vicissitudes, contradictions and need for life-long male-female partnerships, going back to the original couple on Earth. Most pleasing is the polished singing of Madelaine Knight (Eve) and Graham Mothersill (Adam), both of whom have played leading roles in multiple musical pro ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Inventor of All Things – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Inventor of All Things – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars The Inventor of All Things Big Word Performance Venue 13, Old Strathcona Public Library 8331 104 St. Fri. Aug. 18 – 2 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 6 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – 7 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 3 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 8 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 7:45 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 10:15 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 5 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 3:30 p.m. Duration: 75 minutes 4 of 5 stars English performance poet/storyteller extraordinaire/standup comedian Jem Rolls is a Fringe institution, and, having become an acquired taste, is a performer that his legions of fans would never think of missing.    At this year’s Fringe, Rolls is reprising his show from 2015, The Inventor of All Things.  It’s a little disappointing to see a show Rolls has already performed, but his mad-cap meditation on the invention of the atomic bomb by brilliant peace-lovin ... Read the rest of entry »

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

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – 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 p ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Exquisite Hour: Review by GRAHAM HICKS 5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Exquisite Hour: Review by GRAHAM HICKS  5 of 5 stars The Exquisite Hour Teatro La Quindicina Venue 12, Varscona Theatre 10329 83 Avenue Fri. Aug. 18 – 7 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 3 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – 3 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 7 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 3 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 7 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 3 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 5 of 5 stars Edmonton-based playwright and director Stewart Lemoine is a most prolific playwright. Within his own precise perimeters, the man has a genius for writing some three to four plays a year. The Exquisite Hour, I would suggest, will be one of his most enduring works. The plot is simplicity itself – the kindling of a love story, a soul-mate discovery, between two very unlikely candidates for romantic love. Not that this is anything unusual, especially within the Lemoine canon. It’s the pacing, the rhythm, the dance, the seriousness, the mad-cap humour, the contrast betwee ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Charm Offensive: Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Charm Offensive: Review by GRAHAM HICKS  4 of 5 stars The Charm Offensive  Novus Actors Venue 12, Varscona Theatre 10329 83 Avenue Fri. Aug. 18 – 1 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – 1 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 7 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 9 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 1 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24 – 3 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 1 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 7 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 4 of 5 stars Beneath their legal armour, it's been said that many lawyers secretly yearn to be poets and actors and writers.  But as practical under-graduate arts students in university, they opted for law school rather than the uncertainties of a bohemian life.  Which is partially why the Stewart Lemoine-penned Charm Offensive is so much fun. By day, the cast are all engaged in the legal profession, but weeknights, weekends and during the Fringe, they are actors. And by George, they are very good actors, certainly a much better ensemble of hob ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com - 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation: Review by GRAHAM HICKS 3.5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com - 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation Review by GRAHAM HICKS Venue 5, King Edward Elementary School, 8530 101 St. Fri. Aug. 18 – 2:15 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 9 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 4 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 12:15 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24 – 7:15 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 11:15 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 4 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 3.5 of 5 stars A pleasant hour is to be spent at the Fringe, enjoying Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer – or at least Mike’s private-eye cousin Dirk Darrow – do conjuring tricks. Dirk Darrow is actually Tim Motley – an Australia-based American actor who has found an enduring character in Dirk Darrow, a classic cigarette-smoking, trench-coat and fedora, ‘30s or ‘40s private investigator with a plethora of one-liners. Dirk’s shtick is the fact that he’s just as much a card-trick magician as he is a comedic private eye. Motley stays st ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – Die-Nasty in A Midsummer Night's Fringe – review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hickbiz.com – Die-Nasty in A Midsummer Night's Fringe – review by GRAHAM HICKS

Venue #12, Varscona Theatre
10329 83 Ave.
August 18 to 26, 10:30 p.m.

80 minutes with no intermission. 


4 of 5 stars


They are so funny.

They have been doing this for soooo long, yet the show just keeps getting better and better and better, and now it's in a beautiful new (renovated) theatre, and for the A Midsummer Night's Fringe the Die Nasty collective has decided to offer a week-long running improv riffing off of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

If you are still able to grab tix for any of the remaining 10:30 p.m. shows, do so at once! 

The guarantee is you will laugh harder and louder at Die Nasty than at just about any other Fringe comedy.