Since the Fringe Festival is a circuit that crosses many different cities not just across this country, but around the world, there is a wide array of exorbitantly talented performers who spend much of their summers each year traveling from Fringe to Fringe with their one person shows. Over time, these people build up reputations for bringing consistently professional quality, well-polished theatre to cities all over the world and eventually this leads to them playing to packed, capacity theatres and developing their own built-in audiences for places that they return to frequently. Two examples of Canadian Fringe stars, both of whom I hope come to Atlantic Fringe someday soon are Chris Gibbs (Toronto) and Chris Craddock (Edmonton). We are lucky to have just this sort of performer in our midst, one from London (England), at Atlantic Fringe this year, his name is Rainer Hersch, his show is Rainer Hersch’s Victor Borge and it is magnificent.
Victor Borge was a Danish-American comedian pianist who was once hailed by the New York Times as “The Funniest Man in the World!” Rainer Hersch, who is pretty damn funny himself, has created an act where he impersonates Borge, recreating many of his most famous and trademark comedy routines, but also compliments Borge’s act with his own, creating an even more hilarious mixture of European flair, Vaudevillian-style jokes and bits and pieces of impeccably well played classical music.
You don’t need to know anything about Victor Borge, or about classical music to think that this show is hilarious, but Hersch’s fascination and passion for him is infectious so you will likely be inspired to Google and YouTube Borge’s work as soon as you get home from the theatre. Likely you’ll then wonder why it took you so long to happen upon him! If you are a Borge fan, and I know there are a great many out there, I cannot recommend this show enough to you. It is the closest thing you will get to seeing the real thing and you’ll probably fall in love with Rainer Hersch while you are there.
This was one of those shows where every time I thought I’d just heard my favourite joke of the evening, Hersch would immediately top it with something even funnier. His phonetic punctuation routine is quite brilliant, as is everything he does at the piano, the grand finale and pretty much everything in between. What impressed me the most about Hersch is that while this show has a lot of the elements of an impersonation show and a lot of elements of a stand-up routine, his performance as Borge delves far deeper than that; Hersch is unequivocally a talented actor. There are a few moments as Borge, where his eyes fill with sadness, that are so wistful, genuine and poignant, it’s incredible to find them in the middle of a comedy show. These compelling and evocative moments enrich the show so much and give us a much better portrait of Borge, the man as well as the performer.
This is a master class of Fringe shows, you don’t want to miss it!
Rainer Hersch’s Victor Borge plays at the Neptune Studio Theatre (1593 Argyle Street) at the following times. It is $10.00 and runs 75 minutes.
Tuesday September 6th, 8:15pm
Thursday September 8th, 6:00pm
Friday, September 9th, 8:45pm
Saturday, September 10th, 7:00pm
Sunday, September 11th, 3:15pm
Let’s sell this show out, folks!
To book advanced tickets please visit Neptune Theatre’s Box Office, 1593 Argyle Street or call 902.429.7070 or visit www.atlanticfringe.ca.
Same Day Sales are available at the venue (Neptune Studio Theatre) From 1 Hour Before the First Show of the Day.