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BLOODY UNDERRATED: MONTREAL FRINGE: THE UPSHOT
22 June 2012
MONTREAL FRINGE: THE UPSHOT
I said, two reviews ago, that I was writing my penultimate review… and yet here I am! Life is unpredictable and so is Fringe. As evidenced by the fact that I saw an excellent show last night, that I had not heard a single thing about beforehand. That, my Bloody Underlings, is crazy, because The UPSHOT has definitely entered my top five for the festival so far.
The UPSHOT consists of three one-man shows performed one after the other. There isn’t much of a thematic link between them beyond what the title would suggest – each features a unexpected result stemming from a bad situation – but with performances this tight and energetic, and stories this cogent, who cares?
The first, a love story between a woman and a chair, is probably the outright silliest, and probably got the most unabashed laughs. Flora Quintus is a physically adept performer (…you’ll see what I mean if you go to the show) and an absolute delight to watch. I was also impressed by the story’s end, which is more than a little symbolic and subversive.
The second, a hip-hopera about two brothers who collaborate on music and much else besides, is equal parts comic and tragic but brilliant all the way through. Sébastien Heins shifts fluidly between roles, portraying both brothers and giving a standout musical performance at the same time. I also enjoyed the slightly surreal feel to the show, imparted mostly by Heins’ feel for movement; the last moment of this show will stay with you for sure.
The last performance features Nico Racicot as an über politically incorrect pure laine giving his multicultural neighbours a hard time. The laughs in this performance are more of the “Oh no he didn’t” variety, and peter off when it becomes obvious that there’s a lot more to this guy than what we’re seeing. Smart and daring, this is a strong and memorable performance.
So: in case you haven’t gotten the message yet, I think you should go see The UPSHOT! It’s as entertaining as it is various, and will be lighting up the Cabaret du Mile End until Sunday night. Tickets are $12 – or $10 if you show up in a wig, a men’s white tank top, or a bathrobe.