Fringe review: High School High

Alli Harris's completely sung through solo show about high school is epic and ambitious

HIGH SCHOOL HIGH by Alli Harris (Alli Harris/Fringe). At the Factory Studio. July 9 at 6:15 pm, July 10 at 4:30 pm, July 12 at 2:30 pm, July 13 at 6:15 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN

This tour de force solo show by Ottawa’s Alli Harris is entirely sung through. Harris plays multiple characters as she accompanies herself on guitar, rhymes accumulating, deftly switching characters with the flip of a cap or an adjustment in vocal tone.

Her range of characters is as vast as high school must seem when you’re in Grade 9. New kid in school Maddie bake sale hustler embarrassing mom would be ladies man and radio jock Dirk a kid coming out to her parents precocious genius teacher Mr. Henderson disorganized valedictorian the ghost of Steve the Janitor – each one is thoughtfully rendered in a vignette.

When the excitement of the first half dissipates, Harris seems to run out of creative steam and the energy level drops. Still, it’s a pretty epic achievement from a talented young performer with ambition and confidence to burn.

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