I’m back at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People for this fringe show. The show is 90 Lies an Hour and I ended up coming back to here to see this. The star is Paul Strickland who provided the music for Erika MacDonald’s The Barn Identity
It was the background music for that show that convinced me to come. I figure if this show is even half as good as The Barn Identity, it’ll be a really good show and I’ll be very glad that I came.
The stage like so many friends stages is rather bare. There’s simply a guitar on the stand and a microphone on a stan. Oo this will be a singing and storytelling show. And I like those. They really bring the imagination into play in ways that shows that have more elaborate sets don’t.
Speaking Truth at 90 Lies an Hour
Strickland starts the show by letting the audience know that all the stories he is telling are true. Even the stories he makes up. Sometimes the made up stories are more true than the factual ones. the stories in the show revolve around the lives of Strickland’s relatives, Ain’t True, and Uncle Fib. This fine couple resides in Big Fib, Alabama.
Strickland tells for tales, followed by finishing the show with a song. Each of the stories stands on it’s own. Yet, they also form an overarching narrative.
From the names, you may notice a trend developing in this show. Yet, the more outrageous the story, the deeper the truth at it’s core. One deep truth that Strickland brings up is that we are all part of the story being told.
Once again, I’ve come to a show featuring audience participation. Once again, this participation helps to bring shape and meaning to the show. Coming out of Covid lockdown, a theme of isolation or loneliness runs through a lot of this year’s Fringe shows.
These trends didn’t start with Covid, but they were exacerbated by it. One thing Strickland emphasizes over and over in 90 Lies an Hour, is the need to engage in listening to each other’s stories. Listening for the truth not simply the facts.
This show has plenty of laughs. There also thought-provoking and emotional moments. The lies may go by at 90 per hour, but the truth will go slow enough to allow you to grasp and hold on to it.
This is well worth making the trip from the Exchange to The Forks. In fact while you check out 90 Lies an Hour, see if The American Songbook Experience is playing and make it a double-bill.