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Fringe 2012: Release the Stars: The Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid

God is in the Dairy

Photo courtesy of God is in the Dairy.

Sunday, July 8, 8 p.m.
Monday, July 9, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 10, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, July 11, 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 12, 9 p.m.
Friday, July 13, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 14, 8 p.m.

SIX20SEVEN Gallery (627 Queen Street West)

Release the Stars: The Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid may be the template for all Fringe plays from now on. It manages to pack a ton of information and two parallel plots into 60 minutes without ever feeling rushed or jumbled, and has moments of both gut-busting hilarity and heartbreaking tenderness.

The main plot is a dramatization of veteran character actor Randy Quaid’s escape from American justice, along with his artist wife, Evi, and subsequent application for refugee status in Canada. Daniel Krolik’s version of Quaid is quiet, self-effacing, and downright loveable, while Amanda Barker’s Evi is bombastic, paranoid, and occasionally vicious, but also smart, caring, and unflinchingly loyal. The side plot centres on the relationship between two adult siblings, a brother and sister, one of whom is critically ill. The two stories collide in an unexpected plot twist, but both hinge on the theme of how we stick by the ones we love when the shit hits the fan. Smartly written and brilliantly executed, Release the Stars may be the one must-watch play at this year’s Fringe.