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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Singing at the Edge of the World

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starstar starstar starstar starstar starstar   Free Press Rating

starstar starstar starstar starstar starstar   Average Reader Rating

Every writer-performer who aspires to craft a solo piece out of personal experience should see Randy Rutherford’s show to find out how a master does it.

The California-based Rutherford is a fringe elder in his mid-60s. He’s been bringing music-laced memoirs, including this one, to Winnipeg for 15 years. His singing voice has weakened a bit, but the funny and moving 75-minute story of how he began to go deaf while working as a folksinger — and dating an angelic girl — in 1970s Alaska is still, to quote a previous Free Press review, heart-rendingly beautiful. His evocation of place is breathtaking, and he knows how to make his experiences of loss and isolation universal.

I’m docking Rutherford half a star for plugging DVDs from the stage at the end, which weakens the resonance of his story. I could have sworn the show used to conclude with Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right. It didn’t, but I was moved to tears nonetheless.

— Alison Mayes

 

From the Fringe program:

Director: David Ford

 

Cast: Randy Rutherford

 

A folksinger in 70s Alaska, Randy had it all: an adoring girlfriend and a great gig at the Fancy Moose Saloon. Then congenital hearing loss began sucking the sound from his world forever…

 

***** "A gorgeous musical memoir…" - Winnipeg Free Press

***** "Emotionally honest, surprisingly funny" - Monday Magazine

***** "A powerhouse, a triumph" - Edmonton Journal

***** "One of the funniest, most poignant and inspiring performances you're likely to see." - Toronto Star

***** "Wickedly engaging. One hell of a one-man show" - CBC

 

Audience Classification: General

Length: 75 mins.

Warnings: Mild language

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Updated on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM CDT:
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