Edmonton Fringe: Skydiving in Suburbia, The Birdmann in The Episodes of Momentous Timing, Little Lady
Skydiving in Suburbia
Matt. Miller (aka “Lip Balm”) is a slam poet who has graced the stages of the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CAN) and the National Poetry Slam (USA). Skydiving in Suburbia features 15 of his poems, loosely tied together by themes of punk rock, anti-consumerism, and dissatisfaction with the status quo.
“I decided I’m too cool to get cold / so the next time I get a shiver / I’m going to turn it into a shake / and dance my way back to room temperature.”
Audiences unfamiliar with performance poetry may take a while to adjust to the format – this is not a play; it is a series of poems. Miller has added a couple of costume changes to the show to match the themes of the poems, but otherwise there is no attempt to force a story arc out of the material – a good choice.
Miller’s poems are highly engaging and accessible. He has a strong stage presence and an infectious energy. His words are easy to follow and the 45 minute show went by in a flash. If you’ve never been to a performance poetry show before, let this be your first. If you have, make sure to hit up Skydiving in Suburbia. Matt. Miller’s words will keep running through your head all evening long.
The BIRDMANN in The Episodes of Momentous Timing
The man like no man is back with another show chronicling the small events of his day in his own quirky fashion. He attempts to piece together his day after waking up from a blackout – going to the laundromat, walking his dog, going to Club Birdmann, and all the while searching for love.
The show is a mix of story, one-liners, and tricks – balancing an ironing board on his chin, juggling plastic bags. The highlights by far are the awesome montages. We’re talking an emotional rock montage to a cupcake, and dancing in black stilettos to If I Could Turn Back Time.
The Birdmann is charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and very silly, and following a day in his life is a delight. And in the end, “maybe we don’t need love, we just need things.”
A human-cockroach test subject lovingly dubbed Little Lady. Stimuli, experimentation. Enter the extraordinary world of Little Lady. Little Lady is grotesque but sweet. She finds wonder in small things, like spritzing water and looking at her toes. She learns to knit by watching TV, and explores her environment thoroughly. Sound cues indicate that it is time for her to eat – each meal creates major changes within her, as the experiment progresses.
Little Lady is an utterly brilliant piece of physical theatre. Sandrine Lafond presents to us a wordless character with mountains of personality – her vocalizations, her walks, her reactions to the TV and to being zapped by the wrong food tray – every gesture is filled with wonder and expresses the character so clearly. The story itself is intriguing, as we attempt to piece together what exactly Little Lady is, and what is being done to her.
If you are looking for the gems of the Fringe, the shows that will sell out, the hold-overs – look no further. Little Lady is an exquisite show full of delight by a masterful performer.