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Artistic integrity fundamental for frisky fringe fare

SUPPLIED</p><p>Fringe festival performer Aralyn Hughes </p>

SUPPLIED

Fringe festival performer Aralyn Hughes

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/7/2016 (224 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

CAN WE TALK SEX? Some people get a big bang out of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival’s steamiest offerings, and we’re not talking curry from the food trucks. Take, for instance, Aralyn Hughes’s Aralyn’s Summer of Love confessions of a former hippie turned feminist who ended up at a polyamory nudist camp in her 60s.

"If you’re offended by sexuality this is not your show," she says by phone from Austin, Texas. Hughes says the take-charge male leader of the camp started off by saying, "We will start naked, but we’re not going to rip our clothes off and have an orgasm," although he explained that could happen between two or more people while they were there. It’s a forthright, yet touching confessional.

MAUREEN SCURFIELD/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Stu Reid, left, and Mike Plume</p>

MAUREEN SCURFIELD/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Stu Reid, left, and Mike Plume

MAUREEN SCURFIELD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Lisa Tjaden</p>

MAUREEN SCURFIELD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Lisa Tjaden

MAUREEN SCURFIELD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>photo of West End BIZ folks: Cailey Wieler, Joseph Kornelson and Gloria Cardwell Hoeppner at Cafe Ce Soir</p>

MAUREEN SCURFIELD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

photo of West End BIZ folks: Cailey Wieler, Joseph Kornelson and Gloria Cardwell Hoeppner at Cafe Ce Soir

SUPPLIED</p><p>From left to right Daniel, Stefan and Mark Koenig.</p></p>

SUPPLIED

From left to right Daniel, Stefan and Mark Koenig.

Other racy fringe shows for 2016 include In Search for Cruise Control, a one-man comedy by James Gangl, where a "longtime virgin turned sex fiend" strives to give his nephew a sex-ed talk using all the miseducation he carries around in his brain. Then there’s A Story of O, a partially improvised story written by fringe circuit favourite Tonya Jone Miller.

Does anything go at the fringe? Pretty much, but productions must carry warnings if there is nudity, coarse language, violence or sexual content, says festival publicist Hayley Brigg. But that "doesn’t mean these show don’t have artistic merit," she says coyly. "That’s the festival mantra."

WALK AROUND DINNER TOUR: Got summer guests? Dazzle with a West End dinner tour, with food from several nations and a historic walk with a personal guide. Winnipeg’s West End boasts 120 restaurants and yours truly checked out a four-stop, three-hour dinner tour last Thursday, July 7. Ten of us strolled down Ellice Avenue for the first three stops — Tropikis Caribbean restaurant for savoury appetizers, Pho Kim Tuong for Vietnamese dinner samplings and India Palace to sample its bountiful buffet.

At each food stop, tour guide Joseph Kornelson provided West End history, immigration trends, gossipy anecdotes and conducted mini-contests — there was never a dull moment. Then the group traipsed off to Portage Avenue’s Café Ce Soir for blueberry and walnut pie, feeling like friends.

Spotted on the tour: Patti Allen of Book Vision; Cailey Wieler, the West End BIZ’s tour guide specializing in murals; students Nicole Burcar and Alex Francis; and foodies Wendy Waggoner and Donna Cadieux. Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner, executive director of West End BIZ and her husband Barry Hoeppner of Bottom Line Business Security added inside tidbits. Check out the West End BIZ website for this and many other types of tours in what it called "the next up-and-coming area of Winnipeg."

UNDER THE STUDOME: Mike Plume, a prolific songwriter and riveting performer, played two sets of country blues Wednesday, July 6 to a full house at the Studome. Stu Reid, longtime host of CKUW’s Twang Trust, boasts an independent home-concert venue on Grosvenor Avenue. The well-entertained audience —who shared potluck snacks and bubblies during the intermission — included Jeff Church of Levelwear sportswear from Toronto; Ray & Nancy Ullenboom, who are two-thirds of Winnipeg country-folk trio the Serious Willies; CKUW DJ Roger Mouflier; UMFM DJ Gail Comfort;teacher Marnie Hocken; and social worker Judy Linton.

AMETHYST DIG: Do you get a kick out of odd summer adventures? Radiance Gifts at 7-875 Corydon Ave., near Lilac Street, specializes in crystals, and is holding an info night Wednesday, July 13 for their first amethyst mining expedition. The tour bus is "coming to take you away" for a weekend Aug. 26-28 in the Thunder Bay area, if they get enough signups. Participants dig for their own sparkling amethysts for about $20 a bucket, says Lisa Tjaden.

They’ll do all kinds of new-agey things during the eight-hour bus trip, including meditations, Tjaden says. There are also plans for dinners and music events when they’re not digging. She estimates the cost will be about $300 for bus and hotel, and the Manitoba miners will pay for food, fun and games. For more info, call Tjaden at the store at 204-284-4231.

DAREDEVIL FUN: Flyboarding, the exciting new sport that looks like people hovering on water spouts, is hitting Manitoba big time. Check out the Canadian Jetpack Adventures shop near Gimli’s Lakeview Hotel. Flyboarders can rise as much as 12 metres out of the water on the top of two jets strapped to their feet.

"It’s amazing," says customer Barry Morwick. When you strap the jet packs to your feet, the instructor has control, and after a few minutes, newcomers to the activity should be able to rise above the surface of the water, he says.

"It feels like you’re flying around like a superhero, and often after only two to five minutes of instruction," says instructor Riley Patterson.

Morwick says flyboarding is as close to hoverboarding that Marty McFly demonstrated in the Back to the Future sequel as you’ll ever get.

For more info, or to give flyboarding a try, call Patterson at 1-204-461-0035, or Canadian Jetpack Adventures at 1-855-359-2232. Cost is around $120 for a lesson and a short flight.

KITEBOARDING: Not quite ready to flyboard? Lots of water-flight enthusiasts prefer attaching a big kite to their bodies, which lifts them in the air during a strong wind, allowing them to perform jumps, twirls and other fancy tricks.

Boost Kiteboarding, based at ABC Power Tools in Transcona, 201 Regent Ave. W., has everything for the sport, and even does kite repairs. The Koenig family team, dad Mark and sons Daniel and Stefan, are kiteboarding competitors and run the business together.

Mark says they offer kiteboarding lessons and flying sessions on both sides of Lake Winnipeg at 15 beaches, including Grand Beach, Patricia Beach, Victoria Beach, Gimli and Sunset Beach. Kiteboarding locations depend on the wind speed and direction it’s blowing.

The Koenigs are available after work on weekdays and all weekend.

"Daniel does a lot of filming and videos, and he has a drone, too," says proud papa Mark. Find the guys at 204-77-BOOST (204-772-6678).

Got tips? Exciting things happening in your world? Rubbing shoulders with visiting stars? Email mscurf@shaw.ca.

Read more by Maureen Scurfield.

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