Going to Fringe is always a bit of a risk – particularly because the shows at the Montreal Fringe are not picked by a jury – they are pulled out of hats. So many out of the hat for Canadian productions, so many from the hat for English Productions, so many from the hat for French Productions, so many from the hat for Foreign Productions – you get the idea.
So how does a Fringe goer with limited time pick and choose from over 90 productions? There are tons of different methods. Some people go to a specific production because they know someone in the piece. Some people go because they read a review. Some people go because they heard good things from other Fringe goers. But I go because I like the location – and it fits my time slots!
Not perhaps the most scientific of methods, and I will admit to occasionally going based on Fringe goer reviewers, but I’ve rarely been disappointed. The Intrepid Traveler thinks that perhaps I’m too easy to please – but I think I just pick well!
In any case – I do like Mainline – it’s got lots of room for the performers – less room for the audience, and lousy toilets. But the sound quality is good, and the chairs are quite comfy. So – after being tossed out of 2 for Tea (so they were sold out – surely 3 ladies could have squeezed in) – I said – hey – Alex Cross – it’s at my favorite Theatre. So we hiked over, bought tickets and settled in.
The story of Alex Cross summarized in the play-bill – “A talentless loser’s drive for fame leads him to making a deal with the devil for his soul. Join Alex’s journey during his rise to fame until he learns the truth from a conspiracy theorist who attempts to expose the hidden satanic agenda behind the music industry.”
What they don’t tell you is how well the story is going to be told. There are 11 performers on stage – in addition to Alex, the Devil, and Gavin, the Conspiracy Theorist, there’s dancers that perform when Alex is on stage as back-up, there are women who act as the Devil’s handmaidens – dressed in extremely revealing fashion of course, there’s the ultimate bad guy Baphomet – and there’s a narrator. So lots to watch and see and enjoy.
The acting was good by Fringe standards – and ranged to excellent in the surprising cases of the Devil (straight-faced business man with an evil streak) and the Conspiracy Theorist. He’s so good that when he does his excellent speel to Alex on how the Devil is taking over the music industry – the audience applauded. So he bows – and then comments shamefaced to Alex – I often pretend that there is applause right there.
Too funny, too well done, and great Entertainment.
And they end the story in 3 different ways! I have no idea what endings 2 and 3 are – because we saw ending 1.