The first of these is the hilarious 7 (x1) Samurai, a one-man parody of the famous Japanese film Seven Samurai. The show comes complete with “victimized peasants, marauding bandits, samurai warriors and spectacular fight scenes.”

David Gaines of Arlington, Virginia plays all of the characters in this action-packed story, and 7 (x1) Samurai has already won “Best in Fest” at the Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Orlando Fringe festivals. Hai hai, o kudasai!

Seasoned Fringe-goers will also be excited to hear about the return of Jake’s Gift — an intensely emotional drama about “a World War II veteran’s reluctant return to Normandy.”

Jake’s Gift last appeared in the Edmonton Fringe in 2008 and was sold out for pretty much its entire “Best in Fest” run. Needless to say, tickets to this very popular show were at a premium in 2008, and they’ll surely be again, so it’d be a good idea to get your tickets to this one now, before they’re all gone. Julia Mackey’s performance is not to be missed.

Oh, and while you’re purchasing your tickets to those shows, also pick up some up for Bash’d!
Bash’d! — a gay rap musical — features the wise-cracking talents of Nathan Cuckow and local theatre legend Chris Craddock. In it, Craddock and Cuckow team up to play star-crossed lovers Jack and Dillon as well as a pair of gay rapping guardian angels, T-Bag and Feminem.

Following a brief stint in Edmonton many years ago, Bash’d! went on a worldwide tour and received a warm reception everywhere it went, including during its three-month off-Broadway run in New York.

Craddock tells me that he just had to bring Bash’d! back here to Edmonton because so many people in this city have told him that they want to see it.

So there you have it, the curtains have barely risen, and already the Fringe is off to another good start.