By: Stuart Nulman @ mtltimes.ca
The concluded its 26th edition on June 19 in its unique, entertaining manner with the annual Frankies Awards show and closing party, which played to a full house at the Rialto Theatre on Park Avenue.
Hosted by Al Lafrance and Holly Gauthier-Frankel, the Frankies (which is named after Frank Hopkins, a devoted benefactor of the Montreal Fringe Festival during its early years who passed away this past November at the age of 93) handed out a total of 15 awards to honour the French and English language shows that wowed audiences throughout the festival’s three-week run.
Beaver Dreamswon two Frankies, the Montreal Clown Festival and MainLine Creativity awards; The Passagewon for best solo production; Bushel and Peckwon for best choreography; Honesty Rents by the Hourwon for best English text; Star Trek: Discoverywon for best show poster; ATM: The Musicalwon for best English comedy; Miranda and Dave Begin Againwon for most promising English company; Self-Exilewon for best English production; and the Chocolate Moose Company, along with festival general manager Geoff Agombar and festival artist liaison Deirdre Gregoire, won the prestigious Spirit of the Fringe Award.
Personally speaking, this year’s Fringe highlights included Get Lost Jem Rolls€, Does Not Play Well with Others(a funny look at the dysfunctional goings-on at a Canadian kids’ TV show), Honesty Rents by the Hour€, Captain Aurora II€, The McSorley & Chung Magic Hour€, Coffee Eroticaand Self-Exile€, Nisha Coleman’s terrific autobiographical solo show about her experiences growing up as the child of hippies, and her years in exile as a busker in Paris (and whoever missed this show, you will get the chance to see it again, as it will be remounted this January at the Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival).
Finally, a big congratulations goes out to Amy Blackmore, Geoff Agombar and their Fringe Festival crew for the magnificent job they did staging the festival for the 26th time; and special thanks to communications director Julie Santini for all of her help to make my Fringe experience so much fun again. So until we Fringe again in 2017!