Holdovers methadone for Fringeheads

Julia Mackey in Jake's Gift

Julia Mackey in Jake’s Gift

To ease the crushing existential pain from Post Traumatic Fringe Disorder (PTFD), three Fringe venues are presenting holdovers of hits through this last, precious week before school starts.

It’s hard to go cold turkey from 10 days of more than 200 plays in what turns out to be the most successful edition of the Edmonton International Fringe Festival ever. Exactly 117,618 tickets were sold to the indoor plays, out of 700,000 people who came to enjoy the outdoor Fringe and the Australian buskers therein. That’s more than a Rolling Stones two nighter at Commonwealth.

Already proven at the Fringe box office, plays running at the Arts Barns through Sunday, Sept. 1 are Nashville Hurricane, Radio: 30, God is a Scottish Drag Queen, Weaksauce, Port Authority and Jake’s Gift. Aside from selling out, all have earned top reviews from the critics. Weaksauce, starring Sam Mullins, is one of the best of the one-person autobiographical shows at the Fringe this year. God is a Scottish Drag Queen was also a big Fringe hit, with Mike Delamont coming off like the love child of Dame Edna and Billy Connolly. Julia Mackey does a splendid job playing two main characters in Jake’s Gift, a touching tale that deals with a WWII vet.

Five stars ... precioussss!

Five stars … precioussss!

There’s more comedy on tap at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church with not one, but TWO one-man plays by Charles Ross: One Man Star Wars and One Man Lord of the Rings – proven hits wherever they go. It’s remarkable enough that he does it (in one hour flat), but he nerds out on a lot of comedy as well. Rounding out the schedule are April in Peril – and updated David Belke comedy – and Freud’s Last Session, one of the several strong plays this year based on a historical figure. Schedules here.

Finally the Varscona Theatre will be holding over its own hits, including A Picasso, The Lonely Hearts and Stewart Lemoine’s new play, Marvelous Pilgims, which Colin Maclean from the Edmonton Sun called a light comedy rich in “cultivated arcane dialogue and screwball characters.” Advance tickets for the latter only on sale here. Others at the door. Full Varscona holdover schedule here.