It won't be easy to spot the hits of the 2014 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival with a brain-numbing 176 choices.
Based on the subject matter, company reputation and plain o-o-old hunches, here are the 10 shows that make my top 10.
- Peter 'n Chris and the Mystery of the Murder Hotel: This talented Vancouver duo could be on the verge of breaking big -- it was just announced they were finalists for the Pitch 'Til Your Sides Split program in Montreal during the Just For Laughs Festival. That means they have to cancel their July 25 performance.
- Watch Out WildKat! (Yer Dealin With the Devil): A rootin', tootin' comedy western from Toronto's Sex T-Rex that will have everyone yelling "Yee-haw."
- One Man Back to the Future: Go back in time with Marty McFly in his DeLorean time machine to see if L.A. funny man Shelby Bond can perform the whole 1985 movie by himself.
- Die Roten Punkte -- Eurosmash!: Fresh from celebrating Germany's World Cup win, Berlin headbangers Astrid and Otto also intend to kick butt at the Pyramid Cabaret.
- Fake News Fangirl: Former Winnipegger Sharilyn Johnson comes home to recount how she developed a teenage crush on Jon Stewart in the basement of her parents' St. James bungalow and then set off to meet him.
- Sound & Fury's Hamlet and Juliet: This Shakespearean mash-up by the L.A. troupe Sound & Fury will surely include the line: "Romeo, Romeo, where art thou be or not to be?"
- Spec. Ed.: In his one-man show, Sisler High teacher Leith Clark dishes on the trials and tears that came from working in the special-needs department of a large urban high school that may be Sisler.
- Godspell: Winnipeg Studio Theatre has staged fringe hits Altar Boyz and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and returns with a revival of this 1971 musical that suggests Jesus and his apostles are worth tweeting about.
- We Glow: An Ottawa company sets its corporate-ladder-climbing satire in a real boardroom used by the United Way of Winnipeg on Main Street.
- High Tea: A pair of Brit twits has everyone over for tea and a cracking good time. Bring your teacup.