I found Canuck Cabaret to be a very entertaining show. I also found the title to be a little misleading.
It’s a cabaret done by two Canucks, to be sure, but it’s a little low on actual CanCon. If you (like me) were expecting to see a spectacle of dancing maple leafs and Trudeau impersonations, you’ll be a little disappointed. But don’t worry, you’ll still be entertained.
The performers in this show are Paul Hutcheson and Sharon Nowlan. Hutcheson takes o the host/emcee duties, and Nowlan provides the performance art via her character, Prairie Fire.
Hutcheson is hysterical delivering monologues that come across as naturally as if you were chatting with the guy in his living room. My favourite had to be his monologue about being a supply teacher to high school kids. He does make a reference to the Northern Lights and travelling to Vancouver for a wedding, but again, it’s not too Canada-specific otherwise.
Nowlan is skilled at what she does too, performing a variety of dance/physical pieces. I did find her puppet seduction scene a little creepy… but then, I find a lot of puppets creepy so I don’t think I could handle one seducing me. I really enjoyed her spinning light performance, though. (I don’t know how else to describe it. She dances, with spinning lights. It’s cool!)
At each performance, they welcome a couple of acts onstage from other shows, which I think is great Fringe karma. On the night I attended, they had Christel Bartelse from Chaotica, Allan Girod from When Harry Met Harry, and a third performer who did a neat kind of thrash dancing. (I’m really sorry, but I didn’t get his name. If someone knows, please mention it in the comments below so we can give him a shout-out.)
To sum up, Canuck Cabaret is just the right kind of show to see if you’re in the mood for some giggles, stunts and a few surprise guests.
Canuck Cabaret is playing at the Annex Theatre, 720 Bathurst Street, Toronto.
Showtime: 60 min.
Wed, July 13 Noon 438
Thu, July 14 2:15 PM 446
Fri, July 15 11:00 PM 458
Sat, July 16 4:00 PM 461
– Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only.
– Latecomers will not be permitted.
– Tickets are also available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062 or in person at The Fringe Tent (behind Honest Ed’s). Advance tickets are $11 – $10 + $1 convenience fee.
– Money saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.
Photo: Sharon Nowlan and Paul Hutcheson