It's cold now, but if you want to get into next year's hot Fringe fest, you should plan to apply soon.
The 19th Fringe, running July 4 to 15, will host more than 130 companies. Downloadable applications are now available at www.fringetoronto.com for the 60-minute and 90-minute slots as well as the KidsVenue and Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) spaces. Once you've paid your application fee and been accepted, the festival provides venue, technician, box office facilities and publicity. Companies keep all their box office revenue. All but BYOV shows are chosen by lottery.
Deadline for applications is 6 pm January 12, 2007. For more info, check out their website at www.fringetoronto.com or call 416-966-1062.
Theaturtle and the Tokai String Quartet are readying a new set of variations on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen. Not surprisingly, they'll be musical variations, in an adaptation of the story by the late Canadian composer Patrick Cardy.
"This is a rare hybrid of storytelling, theatre, music and visuals that could not have developed but for the Banff Centre," says actor Alon Nashman, who joins the quartet for the family production, which features lighting and video by Andrea Lundy.
The story focuses on the young Gerda, who travels to the ends of the earth to rescue her friend Kay. Kay has been abducted by the imperious Snow Queen when his eye is pierced by a shard from a broken goblin's mirror so that everything appears ugly, and his heart has been turned to ice by another splinter.
The talented Nashman (Kafka And Son, Alphonse) worked on the piece with the St. Lawrence String Quartet. When one of its violinists, Barry Shiffman, became head of the music program at Banff, they decided to explore the piece further.
"I've fallen in love with the story," admits the actor. "It's an allegory for what happens to many people as they get older and start to look at the world through cynical eyes and become cold-hearted. It's also a cautionary tale for kids, suggesting that they don't have to go that route if friendship and fidelity guide them."
How does music contribute to the story?
"It's been a contention since we began that the quartet is as much a storyteller as I am and I'm as much a musician as they are.
"Music is more than background. It inhabits characters, screams, sings, weeps, flows like a river, blows like a snowstorm, flies like a reindeer. Tuneful and contemporary, it's very much a vehicle to drive the plot as well as supply atmosphere. It's not all sweet, but then neither is the story.
"This Snow Queen is like the frozen North, gorgeous and sparkling, but at the same time forbidding."
Nashman recalls a comment by one young viewer that the production didn't tell him what to think about the story.
"That was especially gratifying, for we worked hard not to illustrate the tale with visuals. That boy received and appreciated the fact that we invited his imagination to join us on this storytelling journey."
See One-Nighters, page 82.
Want some sass with your holidays? Check out Glitter All The Way, a Christmas cabaret featuring organizer Ryan G. Hinds and others that sends up the tackiness and neuroses of the season. Presented by Gutter Theatrical and Buddies, the evening is a benefit for Buddies' Queer Youth Program. The performers include Cole J. Alvis, Belladonna and Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, with Donovon Cesar at the piano.
See One-Nighters, page 82.