Festival St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
Festival St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival – Festival season in Montreal is coming and there is a buzz in the air … fringe buzz, that is. Last Tuesday (May 9), members of the media gathered at the MainLine Gallery on St. Laurent Boulevard to find out what’s in store for the 27th edition of the Festival St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, which will take over 24 different indoor and outdoor venues throughout the downtown, Plateau and Mile End districts from May 28 to June 18. “Festival St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival has kept going on and buzzing around. I am very proud of how the Fringe Festival has grown over the years,” said Amy Blackmore, the fringe festival’s executive and artistic director. “We have been doing the same year after year, and that has kept us fresh and relevant in an interesting way, and that’s because we have always stuck to our values: diversity, community and artistic freedom.”
“This is a festival where word of mouth is king and fringe buzz is queen,” she added.
Ms. Blackmore also unveiled some new attractions to this year’s edition of the fringe festival, such as street buskers, a World Fringe Day celebration on July 11, and in a special partnership with a dozen businesses along St. Laurent Boulevard, the newly formed “Fringe Menu”, which will feature special fringe-related items on their respective menus, including a “Fringe Cocktail Negron” at Bishop & Bagg, a “Fringe Pita” at Pitarifique, a “Fringe Donut” at Patisserie Solignac, and a “Fringe Dog” at Dirty Dogs.
As well, the festival will feature many shows that have become favourites and mainstays throughout the years, such as the always lively “Fringe-For-All” preview launch show at Café Campus (May 28), the “13th Hour” late night showcase (at its new home at the MainLine Theatre from June 8-15 and 17), the “Drag Races” competition with Montreal’s favourite drag queen Mado (June 17), the Provincial Air Guitar Championships (June 3), and the closing Frankies Awards ceremony and party (June 18), which will take place at its new locale, Club Soda.
Ms. Blackmore urged fringe goers to pick up their copy of the fringe festival program publication, look through its massive schedule of shows that make up its “Fringe A – Z” and “Fringe Off” line-ups, and highlight their choices of what comedy, musical, theatrical or performance art shows from Quebec, Canada, the U.S. and around the world that they would like to catch during the course of the festival. After glancing through what will become my fringe bible, here is an early selection of fringe shows that I plan to see: “Orson Welles/Shylock” (June 8, 10-12, 14, 15 and 18), “Poet vs. Pageant” (June 9, 10, 12, 14, 16-18), “Scientist Turned Comedian” (June 9-11, 13, 15 and 18), and “The Chung & Co. Mystery Hour” (June 9-11, 14, 17 and 18).
Finally, Montreal musician and veteran fringe festival performer Paul Cargnello was introduced as this year’s festival spokesperson. “I have always been attracted to the rebel heart that is the fringe festival,” said Cargnello, who composed a special theme song for the festival, which made its debut at the press conference.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.montrealfringe.ca
Feature image: Amy Blackmore, Montreal Fringe Festival executive and artistic director