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Stretch your festival stomach at the Montreal Fringe!

After our lean winters, festival season is a glorious, all-you-can-eat buffet of event after event of all tastes. And Fringe is the perfect annual breaking of the fast. Shows are short and diverse. Nothing costs over $10. It’s Montreal’s festival season in miniature form, a jumpstart to the next few months of endless shows. From the edgy to the family friendly, from the local experiment to the international hit—theatre, dance, music, unclassifiable—you’ll find it all at the Fringe. Of the 750+ events this year, here are just a few suggestions. But remember: the best shows at the Fringe are always the ones you never knew you wanted to see in the first place.

1. FRINGE-for-All
If you have no idea what to check out, a good place to start is the free FRINGE-for-All series. You’ll see a short preview of each show. Have your program and pencil handy to mark off the sneak peeks you enjoy.

Festival launch: June 3, Café Campus
Out-of-towner: June 13, Cabaret du Mile End

2. Trance for Matron (Theatre, English)
Lib Spry’s one ‘old’ woman show is choreographed by Holly Gauthier-Frankel, aka Miss Sugarpuss. This promises to be a showcase of Spry’s physical theatre technique and a funny, poignant and toe-tapping look at aging. (June 15-23, Freestanding Room)

3. Horrible Things (Comedy/Music, English)
Comedian DeAnne Smith teams up with Leighland Beckman, front man of local band Aural Turpitude, for a wash-your-mouth-out set. Smith is a regular on the comedy fest circuit and knows how to work a crowd. (June 13-23, Montreal Improv)

4. Règle No 1: ne pas craquer! (Musical theatre, French)
At last year’s Fringe, this young company won the Spirit of the Fringe Frankie award and was nominated for Best New Production. Their new musical promises to be a tongue-in-cheek comedy about an agency that’s basically a corporate Magic 8 Ball. There, Quebecers can go to find the answers to all the decisions they struggle with. (June 15-23, Studio Multimédia)

5. Circle (Comedy, English)
Playwright/director Suzanne Bachner is bringing a new production of her two-header to town. An off-Broadway hit comedy about a dozen years ago, Circle traces a series of transcontinental sexual adventures (straight, gay and bi). This new staging will star three-time Canadian Comedy Award Nominee Christel Bartelse and five-time Best in Fest Winner Bob Brader. (June 17-22, Club Espagnol)

6. The Knocking Within (Dance)
This dance/theatre duet is inspired by Shakespeare and the science of sleep. Wendy Jehlen and Pradhuman Nayak—the latter from a family of folk performers in India—offer a contemporary dance show built with influences from capoeira, kalaripayattu, Bharatanatyam and West African styles. English, Hindi and American Sign Language are also incorporated. (June 15-23, MAI)


For all the details and schedule, visit montrealfringe.ca.