Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fringe Notebook

  • Print
A Fringe performer's worst nightmare came true for a Winnipeg troupe this week.

They put on a show and nobody came -- except for one critic.

But the show must go on. And the seven plucky actors did a fine job with their Kids Fringe production of The Steadfast Sisters and The Boy Who Found Fear at Last .

"It's hard when there aren't lots of people," co-writer and actor Esther Hazendonk said after the noon-hour show Friday.

"You don't have energy to feed off."

The Winnipeg company, flights of Fancy, has another show today at 12:15 p.m. at Venue 7, the Playhouse Studio.

"We know we'll have an audience," Hazendonk said, "because half of our families are coming."

Rain? What rain?

Indoor festival attendance totalled 5,367 Friday, only 30 more than last year's first Friday. The downpour that night didn't do much for the outdoor stage, but the full house under the big top certainly spurred beer sales. Attendance to indoor shows stands at 11,912 or about 4,000 ahead of last year's record pace.

Mr. Smith goes to plays

Coun. Harvey Smith, who looks a little like Fringe mascot Santa Claus, is challenging his city hall colleagues to see a play a day.

The inner city councillor and arts patron nips out every afternoon to catch a production. He's got his Fringe guide all marked up and his Frequent Fringer pass at the ready.

"It's a good break from the insanity of city hall," said Smith. "The plays provide a nice bit of reality."

Comedies are his preference. So far, he's liked Bill and Jared, a multimedia extravaganza from Edmonton.

Maddin happy

Winnipeg film director Guy Maddin is taking a few days' break from post-production on his forthcoming movie.

Maddin and his significant other, Erin Hershberg, were scouring the sandwich boards in Old Market Square on opening night in a search of a play, any play, starring Maddin's buddy and Fringe veteran Ross McMillan.

"I've been in Toronto most of the winter," Maddin said. "I like coming back because it smells so clean here."

His new feature, The Saddest Music in the World, will premiere at this fall's Toronto International Film Festival. Meanwhile, Maddin has been basking in praise from U.S. critics reviewing the theatrical release of Dracula -- Pages from a Virgin's Diary.

"I've come to expect it," he joked. "If I don't get it, I'm mad."

Grab yer fedora, Carl, and come on down!

If you are that special fringer, companies are just waiting to let you in the door at a discount, if not for free.

For starters, all Saddam (Hussein) look-alikes are welcome to walk right into Rainer Hersch's Instruments of Mass Destruction.

But that's not all.

If you are a fedora-wearing Carl who was once a member of New Kids on the Block but now hold a Class 1 driver's license and knock about in a hockey jersey or other clothing from Orlando, FL, you are in for one sweet deal.

Say hi to the folks at the box office for us.

Table for one

Winnipeg-spawned, L.A.-based actress-comedian Johanna Stein is an ensemble of one this year in the production of Pick a Hole at Venue 11 (Pockets Bar and Grill).

The Fringe program promises Stein and partner Rebecca Corry.

Oops, not this time, Stein says.

"We were supposed to be doing a two-handed stand-up show . . . but she got a pretty sweet gig doing a tour for the "Improv" franchise," Stein says, adding cattily: "I know, how could she turn down the Winnipeg Fringe for that?!"

"Left to my own devices, I'm putting up a weird standup-y/sketch-y show that is not for the prudish of heart," says Stein, whose acting credits include multiple Fringe productions, as well as a mucho enigmatic role as "the woman in #12" in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.

Pick a Hole runs nightly at Venue 11 at 8:45 p.m. for the duration of the Fringe.

Dog days of July

The fringe is proving a top draw for man and beast.

A mixed-breed dog named Sparky spent all Thursday at Old Market Square, taking in the outdoor entertainment and sampling whatever food was dropped on the ground by fringers. No one is quite sure how Sparky got downtown from his home on Sherburn Street in Wolseley, least of all his surprised owners, who retrieved him last Thursday night.

"Even dogs are coming to the fringe," says Fringe executive director Bertram Schneider. "He got the whole fringe experience right down to drinking from a beer cup, although it was only filled with water."

"Who writes this stuff -- poets on crack?" -- Overheard at On The Body at the Chinese Cultural Centre.

A ticket holder planning to see Toothpaste and Cigars at Venue 2 on Friday was more than a little unhappy when she was told she couldn't take the little dog peeking out of her purse into the venue.

So if it really needed saying: No babes in arms and no miniature dogs in small cloth bags permitted. Consider yourselves warned.

Which shows have you liked or loathed or barely tolerated this year? Send us your reviews to We'll post the best ones to our website at

Check out all of our picks and pans so far;

just click on the Fringe box.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 20, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Key of Bart - Four Little Games

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google