HicksBiz Blog

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 »

Hicks Weekly Dish: Steakhouse or Seafood? BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, AUGUST 08, 2017

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse Ellerslie 9626 Ellerslie Road SW 780-249-2000 Pampasteakhouse.com Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday to 10 p.m.) Saturday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Dinner for two, excluding tip and beverages: $100  Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Sabor – Seafood Festival to Sept. 3, 2017 10220 103 St. 780-757-1114 Sabor.com Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dinner for two, excluding tip and beverages: basic, $60, loaded $120  Food:  4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns   Seafood or meat? Why be forced to choose? Go out twice, enjoy the best of both! Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse – firmly established after six years downtown – has just expanded. Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse Ellerslie is in a new, spacious, stand-alone buildi ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Cold Lake an example of Alberta pain BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: FRIDAY, AUGUST 04, 2017 08:58 AM

“The environmental agenda has hijacked Alberta’s resource industry and our politicians,” wrote Craig Copeland, one of many readers responding to last week’s Hicks on Biz column entitled “Alberta’s economic suicide.” “It gained traction in the early 2000s but has escalated lately with the new provincial and federal governments,” Copeland continued, “even though Alberta already had some of the strictest industrial environmental policies in the world. I fear we could be witnessing one of the greatest economic tragedies in Canadian history.” Just another redneck opinion to be ignored, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and her advisers would likely say. The current New Democrat government appears to put a higher priority on its climate change action plan than on the dismal state of the provincial economy, everywhere other than Edmonton. Copeland, however, is no redneck. He’s the long-time mayor of Cold Lake, one of Alberta’s more ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: YEG Sushi showdown - Sumo Sumo versus Takami Sushi BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, AUGUST 01, 2017

It’s testament to the growing popularity of Japanese cuisine, when two new, full-service sushi houses open minutes away from each other in a part of the city already near-saturated with Japanese restaurants. Sumo Sumo has long been popular in Sherwood Park. It recently replicated itself in Edmonton, in the former Century Grill/Plates International Buffet building on Calgary Trail south of Whitemud Drive. Takami Sushi is in a new commercial building on 61 Avenue just west of 104 Street. Sumo Sumo Edmonton is a Chevrolet — a high-volume big restaurant where the food is good, but not great. Takami Sushi is a Cadillac — smaller, much more attention to detail and presentation, about 20% more expensive than Sumo Sumo for comparable dishes, but top quality. Sherwood Park Sumo Sumo owner Joe Chan opened Plates in early 2016. For whatever reason, Plates is gone, replaced by an Edmonton version of Sumo Sumo. Sumo Sumo Edmonton has some drawbacks. The restaurant is slightly outdated ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Alberta’s economic suicide BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED Edmonton Sun: SATURDAY, JULY 29, 2017

Will Albertans continue to sit on our hands and do nothing while national and provincial politicians - goaded by a vocal minority - plunge this province, and all Canada for that matter, into what is politely termed "de-industrialization" but ought to be called economic suicide? Are desperately needed new pipelines to carry the lifeblood of the Canadian economy - oil and gas - never to be built? Earlier this week, any thought of exporting Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia died when the proposed $36 billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project was declared dead by its principal backer, Malaysia's Petronas oil company. Goaded by environmental groups, Canadian governments piled delay upon regulatory delay upon this and other major energy projects. By the time the NorthWest LNG project was actually approved, Asian demand for natural gas was being met by Australian and American LNG exporters. Canadian LNG is considered no longer economically viable on world markets. The companies and the investors behi ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks weekly dish: Chowin’ down at the Taste of Edmonton BY GRAHAM HICKS FIRST POSTED EDMONTON SUN: TUESDAY, JULY 25, 2017

For once, the Weekly Dish has quasi-scientifically reviewed the food offerings at Taste of Edmonton, the city’s premier food festival in Churchill Square running this year to July 29. The challenge is to be dispassionate in choice – NOT to automatically return to favourite booths with favourite mini-dishes, not to be swayed by popularity or reputation. There are 47 food booths, plus 14 food trucks rotating in and out, plus special events, plus, plus, plus. Every time you turn around, a friend or a vendor urges you to try this, try that. So here’s the newly developed Weekly Dish Fool-Proof Taste of Edmonton review system: Every booth is numbered, one to 47. Pick a number at random from one to five. From that number, visit every fifth booth – no matter the food or the vendor. Our random starting point was booth #3 – the Afghan Chopan Kebab. Then it was every fifth booth after that. Over all – GOOD FOOD!!!! Very little was overly greasy. Much was imaginati ... Read the rest of entry »