Posted by: nancykenny | June 18, 2009

Nancy’s MUST SEE List at the Ottawa Fringe

Lots of lists are popping up all over the place on what you absolutely should see at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Having been around the Fringe for a while now, I also know what I absolutely cannot miss. Since I expect to see approximately 40 shows this year (a new personal best, beating my lousy 21, albeit while performing in 12 shows, from last year), please don’t be offended if you are not on my “Must See” list. Chances are I will probably be seeing your show, but I just don’t have enough time to talk about them all.

Well, first up, the cheap plug. You should definitely see No Exit Upstage. In fact, I suggest you see it twice. It’s very layered so you’re sure to discover something new each time 😉

Ok, on to the list. First up, the LOCALS. I always make it a habit each year to see as many local productions as I can. These are, after all, the people I will most likely be working with in the future (if I haven’t already) and so it’s good to know what they are doing.

Nadine Thornhill is one of the smartest and funniest writers I know. Some kind of Norm Foster meets Gilmore Girls. She also won last year’s Best in Venue award for her play The Wedding Night, so you know she can bring the goods.

…Comes Around
An all-star team of Ottawa’s best and brightest artists with more award wins and nominations among them than there are people in the cast. Plus, explicit sexuality! They have two 11 p.m. time slots for all us skeevy pervs in the audience. Guess when I’ll be in attendance?

Une nuit arabe
The only French play at the festival and one that Evolution Theatre will be mounting in October (in English). I am very curious to see how they will be doing it in the tiny and workout inducing Studio 311.

Inclement Weather and Country Shaped Like Stars
At the very least see one of them, but preferably see both. Emily Pearlman and Nick Di Gaetano are hands-down the most interesting and creative artists working in Ottawa today. I am in absolute awe when in their presence and still find it incredible they let me hang around. Both these shows fall under their new !MI CASA! banner. I expect lots of amazing things in the future from them both so I figure it best to get in on the ground floor now. Oh and in my book, Miss Pearlman gets 5 stars for every show.

The Squatter Heart
By Annie Lefebvre / Directed by Andy Massingham
Her preview performance at the Festival Tent last night sold this one for me. A beautiful poetic movement piece. Annie was simply stunning. I can’t wait to see more!

The Beer Tent
It doesn’t take place at the tent, but in the Royal Oak basement on Laurier. I think I get a shout-out in the show. I want to go check. I’m vain like that.

We Never Clothed

Boobies. Kate Smith. I think there’s a musical number too. But mostly I’m going for the boobies.

Now, for the OUT OF TOWNERS!

Like a Virgin
I saw Jimmy Hogg’s show in London a few months ago and you can read the review here. It was great and I will be going back to see how it’s come along since then.

On Second Thought
Another performer I saw a few months ago and you can read my thoughts on him here. His festival preview last night included a strip tease to MmmmBop, just to give you an idea what you’re in for.

Is Shakespeare’s Dead?
I am not proud to say that in the seven years I’ve been at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, and in the seven years he’s been there, I have never seen a Keir Cutler show. I plan on fixing that this year.

Grandpa Sol and Grandma Rosie

Watch this video and tell me it does not make you want to see this show?

Ok, so I was trying to keep this list at 10, but Annie Lefebvre made it impossible to do so.

Happy Fringing!

Nancy Kenny’s No Exit Upstage, opens with a 2-for-1 admission price Thursday, June 18 at 9:30 pm and plays in Venue #3 – Studio Leonard-Beaulne.



  1. Thank you for such a lovely, generous compliment…and of course, for including us on your list!

    If we finish rehearsal early, a few of us Oreos are planning on checking out “No Exit…” tonight. If not it’s my main plan Saturday night!

    Break legs tonight

  2. […] Performer Nancy Kenny (of No Exit Upstage) has Tips for Producing a Fringe Show, a plug for her own show, and her own list of must-see shows. […]

  3. From our chats recently, it seems like you might want to re-think one or two of these “must see” items.

    I should write an updated one soon…!

  4. If you can squeak it in, you should consider catching Toronto performer Christel Bartelse in CHAOTICA. It won best of venue at London Fringe last year. As an artist yourself, you might really appreciate her creative interpretation of life as a board game which keeps turning her into a different version of who she wants to be. Very funny, fusing clown technique with improv with song and dance. She is playing Wakefield Piggyback too, so you’ve got extra chances to catch her.

    • I saw Christel on her opening night. She waslovely. Thanks for the plug!

  5. Helpful list, Nancy! I can only assume you haven’t been to see “Enter, Screaming” yet…if you have and have simply left it off your list…don’t tell me. ;^)

    Fringe On, Sistah!!

    • You’re right John, I haven’t seen it yet. I plan on perhaps making an updated list mid-week of things I have seen and recommend. I think I’m seeing your show on Friday.

  6. […] patient work; the creation of a new production company; and, of course, this little show called No Exit Upstage – perhaps you’ve heard of it […]

  7. […] MUST SEE List at the Winnipeg Fringe Many of you probably remember my MUST SEE List for the Ottawa Fringe Festival. It was, after all, one of my top posts in June. I figured it would be nice to do the same thing […]

  8. […] That said, since my most popular blog posts of late have been for my MUST SEE LISTS in both Ottawa and Winnipeg and since I have many friends who will be performing at the festival, I thought it […]

  9. […] the plywright behind past Ottawa Fringe hits Oreo and The Wedding Night. I once called her Norm Foster meets Gilmore Girls. Directed by the wonderful Ken Godmere, good times are pretty much […]

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