HicksBiz Blog

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – Puck Bunnies – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4. 5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – Puck Bunnies – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4. 5 of 5 stars Puck Bunnies Guys in Disguise Venue 12, Varscona Theatre 10329 83 Avenue Fri. Aug. 18 – 3 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 5 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – 5 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 9 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 7 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24 – 7 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 5 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 5 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 3 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 4.5 of 5 stars Within the best of comedy is always slight tragedy. Puck Bunnies is one of the best conceptions and hilarious executions of human superficiality that the  Guys in Disguise comedy troupe has ever done. And yet it’s based on pathos – the stunning banality of young women in small towns where the end-all and be-all is to snare and hopefully marry a local hockey player. But what fertile ground for high and hilarious comedy – especially the triumvirate of hockey player girlfriends Tina, Tammy and Tanya as p ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Exquisite Hour: Review by GRAHAM HICKS 5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Exquisite Hour: Review by GRAHAM HICKS  5 of 5 stars The Exquisite Hour Teatro La Quindicina Venue 12, Varscona Theatre 10329 83 Avenue Fri. Aug. 18 – 7 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 3 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – 3 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 7 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 3 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 7 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 3 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 5 of 5 stars Edmonton-based playwright and director Stewart Lemoine is a most prolific playwright. Within his own precise perimeters, the man has a genius for writing some three to four plays a year. The Exquisite Hour, I would suggest, will be one of his most enduring works. The plot is simplicity itself – the kindling of a love story, a soul-mate discovery, between two very unlikely candidates for romantic love. Not that this is anything unusual, especially within the Lemoine canon. It’s the pacing, the rhythm, the dance, the seriousness, the mad-cap humour, the contrast betwee ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Charm Offensive: Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Charm Offensive: Review by GRAHAM HICKS  4 of 5 stars The Charm Offensive  Novus Actors Venue 12, Varscona Theatre 10329 83 Avenue Fri. Aug. 18 – 1 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – 1 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 7 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 9 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 1 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24 – 3 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 1 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 7 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 4 of 5 stars Beneath their legal armour, it's been said that many lawyers secretly yearn to be poets and actors and writers.  But as practical under-graduate arts students in university, they opted for law school rather than the uncertainties of a bohemian life.  Which is partially why the Stewart Lemoine-penned Charm Offensive is so much fun. By day, the cast are all engaged in the legal profession, but weeknights, weekends and during the Fringe, they are actors. And by George, they are very good actors, certainly a much better ensemble of hob ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com - 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation: Review by GRAHAM HICKS 3.5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com - 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation Review by GRAHAM HICKS Venue 5, King Edward Elementary School, 8530 101 St. Fri. Aug. 18 – 2:15 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 9 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 4 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 12:15 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24 – 7:15 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 11:15 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 4 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 3.5 of 5 stars A pleasant hour is to be spent at the Fringe, enjoying Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer – or at least Mike’s private-eye cousin Dirk Darrow – do conjuring tricks. Dirk Darrow is actually Tim Motley – an Australia-based American actor who has found an enduring character in Dirk Darrow, a classic cigarette-smoking, trench-coat and fedora, ‘30s or ‘40s private investigator with a plethora of one-liners. Dirk’s shtick is the fact that he’s just as much a card-trick magician as he is a comedic private eye. Motley stays st ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – Die-Nasty in A Midsummer Night's Fringe – review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hickbiz.com – Die-Nasty in A Midsummer Night's Fringe – review by GRAHAM HICKS

Venue #12, Varscona Theatre
10329 83 Ave.
August 18 to 26, 10:30 p.m.

80 minutes with no intermission. 


4 of 5 stars


They are so funny.

They have been doing this for soooo long, yet the show just keeps getting better and better and better, and now it's in a beautiful new (renovated) theatre, and for the A Midsummer Night's Fringe the Die Nasty collective has decided to offer a week-long running improv riffing off of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

If you are still able to grab tix for any of the remaining 10:30 p.m. shows, do so at once! 

The guarantee is you will laugh harder and louder at Die Nasty than at just about any other Fringe comedy. 

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – Cut!– review by GRAHAM HICKS 2.5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hickbiz.com – Cut! – review by GRAHAM HICKS Venue 4, Academy at King Edward 8525 101 St. (east side of school) Thurs. Aug. 17,  9:45 p.m. Fri. Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21, 12 noon Tues. Aug. 22, 5:30p.m. Sat. Aug. 26, 11:15 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27, 1:45 p.m. Duration 60 minutes 2.5  of 5 stars Not worth your time. Cut! Is an amusing script, written many years ago by Alberta playwright Lyle Victor Albert and originally produced at the fourth Fringe festival in 1985. The plot is truly original. The setting is some kind of purgatory where characters that have been deleted/cut/left out of the final version of famous plays are sent to commensurate and lament with one another on how they should have been stars. The script is fun, and as the plot progresses there’s some playfulness around the theme of if-I-am-thought-of, do-I-exist? But this version – at least at the second show – just didn’t gell. There w ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – Romeo & Juliet – review by GRAHAM HICKS 3.5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hickbiz.com – Romeo & Juliet – review by GRAHAM HICKS Edmonton Dance Theatre (AKA Toy Guns Dance Theatre) Stage 1, Westbury Theatre Arts Barns building, 10330 84 Ave. Performances:  Fri. Aug. 18, 12:15 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19, 4:30 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20, 11:15 p.m.| Wed. Aug. 23, 2:45 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24, 9:15 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26, 11:59 p.m. 75 minutes 3.5 of 5 stars Whimsy, fantasy and old-fashioned fun slathered on top of ballet dance technique has always been the Toy Guns Dance Theatre’s stock in trade.  It was what made Toy Guns’ first major Fringe appearance - where a dozen dancer/actors shared the spotlight with a stage full of pillows - such a hit in 2014, and made successive Jake Hastey and former partner Richelle Thoreson’s Fringe shows must-see productions. Life changes. Thoreson is no longer associated with Toy Guns. The name of the dance company itself has mysteriously changed to Edmonton Dance Theatre, at least for the purpose ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – HEATHERS The Musical – review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hickbiz.com – HEATHERS The Musical – review by GRAHAM HICKS Scona Alumni Theatre, BYOV 25: Strathcona High School, 10450 72 Ave. (entrance on north side of high school, parking on the east side) August 17 to 20, 22 to 26, 9 p.m. 95 minutes with no intermission.  4 of 5 stars This is one weird gem of a large-scale musical. You have to hand it to artistic director/Scona drama teacher/Scona Alumni Theatre producer Linette Smith.  She fears not controversy, has the resources to mount a large-scale musical – 17 performers and a six-person band, and has a reputation such that her best recent graduates from Strathcona High School in the song-and-dance department are only too happy to be part of the Alumni Theatre’s Fringe show. Controversial? HEATHERS is a spectacular musical and cult movie that failed to become a household name:  Maybe because, as the  note on the program cautions, the show set in an American high school circ ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: Edmonton Fringe puts you close to a food cornucopia BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2017

Starting Thursday, it’s Fringe time. Fringe time means Old Strathcona time. The kids – university students, the party-till-you-drop group – know Old Strathcona well. They go dancing, drinking and snacking from bar to bar – from The Pint to O2’s to The Black Dog … The rest of us, when we head down the Whyte Avenue strip, it’s more to dine than to drink — although the occasional $3.50 happy hour pint is attractive. There’s an unbelievable 60-plus food joints, along or on either side of, Whyte Avenue (82 Avenue) from 101 Street to 107 Street. Sixty! And that’s not counting the restaurants further south between 103 an 104 Streets. If you’re planning to Fringe, here’s the Weekly Dish Guide to Old Strathcona’s good eats, based on past Weekly Dish reviews, or reports from trusted friends. Pubs, bars and coffee shops have been excluded, unless they are known for decent food. Tier 1 Packrat Louie: This lovely restaur ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Utility bills are a crock of confusion BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: FRIDAY, AUGUST 11, 2017

When my latest Enmax utilities bill arrived, I went on Facebook with my concerns. The monthly energy costs for my house, for June, were dirt cheap — $20.05 for electricity, $7.19 for natural gas. But the other costs, exquisitely detailed, seemed outrageous in comparison. Another $57.48 for other electricity costs, being the administration, distribution, transmission, balancing pool allocation, rate riders and Edmonton local access fees. An extra $66.57 for other natural gas costs: Administration charge, transaction fee, fixed delivery charge, variable delivery charge, rate riders, municipal franchise fee … and the dreaded carbon levy. Why, I asked on Facebook, so much billing gobbledygook? Are we being hosed? Is it meant to hopelessly confuse the customer, so we shrug our shoulders and pay? These complex bills have been around for 10 years. Yet the Facebook reaction was astounding. Some 60 comments ricocheted back, along with hundreds of likes. “A crock of confusion &he ... Read the rest of entry »