The Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival continues until Sunday, and as I said earlier, you should go.
I’ve followed the advice of some veteran Fringe-goers by not always picking shows that I am almost certain I’ll like, or restricting myself to the ones that reviewers have rated highly. It’s good advice. I’ve attended several performances that the stick-in-the-mud part of me would firmly reject. And they’ve been surprisingly OK. One of them, BITS, was much more than OK. Even the ones I didn’t care for were worth experiencing.
So far, I’ve seen only one person walk out mid-show. He did it fairly inconspicously, between scenes, when the lights went down, after moving himself to a seat near the door. I admit that I considered walking out as well, but I’m happy I didn’t. The show got better. A story in the New York Times advises that it’s OK to walk out, as long as you do it in a considerate way. It’s your time and sanity, and just because you paid for the show doesn’t mean you have to torture yourself. I’m not sure if I’ll follow that guidance in the final two days of Fringe. I might be too concerned about disrupting the show and hurting the performers’ feelings. If a show becomes torture — I haven’t encountered that and don’t expect to — I might just close my eyes and nap.
Up to Friday, I have seen a dozen of the 50-or-so shows. These are the ones I would spend money to see again:
- The New Conformity (juggling and lots more)
- Unpossible! (magic — a full-house at the show I attended)
- Mr. and Mrs. Alexander (historical magic)
Based on what I’ve been hearing in the lineups, I plan to see these shows this weekend:
- Magic Unicorn Island
I’m also planning to pick a couple more shows that might not be to my taste.
Disclosure: A member of the family is working for the Fringe Theatre Festival.
Details about Fringe shows and tickets: victoriafringe.com
Times Colonist coverage of the Fringe, including reviews.
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After the last Fringe show of the day, it’s 10 p.m., sometimes 11 p.m. If you’re interested in a non-fast-food restaurant meal, it might seem at first glance that everything is closed. Victoria is not a late-night town, but there are a few places near Fringe venues if you want a late-night meal.
The pattern for many downtown Victoria bars and restaurants is to serve food until around 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 p.m. on Sundays. Some restaurants extend their hours to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
A few specialize in late openings. For example:
The Mint, at 1414 Douglas, is open until 2 a.m. all week.
Fiamo, at 515 Yates, is open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 a.m. Sunday to Thursday.
The Joint, 1219 Wharf, is open until 3 a.m. Thursday to Friday.
Other places serving food until 11 p.m. or midnight include So Ya, 606 Trounce Alley; Bin 4 Burger, 911 Yates; The Tapa Bar, 620 Trounce Alley; Bartholomew’s English-Style Pub, 777 Douglas; Catalano, 619 Courtney; 10 Acres, 611 Courtney; Little Jumbo, 506 Fort; Sticky Wicket, 919 Douglas; Veneto, 1450 Douglas; The Guild, 1250 Wharf; Cactus Club, 1125 Douglas; Browns Socialhouse, 809 Douglas; Yates Street Taphouse, 759 Yates. Some of these restaurants switch to a shorter menu in the last hour or two before closing.
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