Al Lafrance Enters the Montreal Fringe with the Pride of a Quitter Only A Comedian Could Acquire
First of all, Lafrance's stand-up repertoire includes his own show with Deanne Smith entitled Let's Do This! and some-show-amusing-evening-type-thing I would very much like to attend but I'm not sure when or how or why, an event which he calls Alcoholic Cinema wherein he just makes up drinking games to go along with movies (what? yes!). Above and beyond stand up, he's written several short stories, many of which have been read publicly including a feature on CBC's Definitely Not the Opera. To top it all off, he performs regularly with his sketch troupe Flapjack Cadillac (stay tuned for a feature on them coming up in a couple of weeks).
Ok, so, super, we have all of the above credits. I'm impressed and a little jealous, which is exactly where a writer should want another writer to stand at a distance from him. Of course, I haven't yet mentioned his current tour (a TOUR) of his first ever 60 minute self-written solo show, The Quitter. The irony of a "quitter" taking on the astonishingly daunting "I don't know if this is going to work but I have to do it because I have to do it because I just have to do it" task of writing and performing his own solo show, is sort of what makes me have to see the it at Fringe Montreal this month.
Only a great comedian could look at his losses, or whatever it is you call dropping out of college three times and quitting every job you've ever had, and say "hey man, if I did quit, it was for a good reason because listen to how remarkably strange the situation was and at least I didn't die even though I probably wanted to (laughter laughter laughter laughter)." Lafrance's actually brilliant justification of quitting (which doesn't really resemble what I just drafted but something much better, I promise) as an act of empowerment really does prove that his sense of humour is probably unbeatable.
Lafrance's exploration of playwriting both from a performer's perspective (Re: his extensive standup background) and from a writer's perspective (Lafrance has written two other shows that he hasn't starred in) gives him a unique handle on writing for the theatre, the kind where creative angles are covered both from on and off the stage.
Finally, and especially non-quitter-esque, Lafrance will absolutely refuse to quit after his FIVE CITY (that's insane, Al) tour with The Quitter. Let's not stop there, he's amalgamating a book of his short stories and working on two other solo shows which he hopes to one day bring back to the Fringe or perhaps an alternate venure: "'I'm the co-artistic director of SOLOS, Montreal's only solo theatre festival", he says, as if it's no big deal at all "- so maybe I'll end up workshopping something there later this year." We certainly hope so.
Now that we've reviewed his contribution to the performance arts in mild detail, I hope we haven't deterred you from accepting Lafrance's coveted accomplished "quitter" status. He is still willing to call himself a quitter and so we absolutely have to honour his title. Don't miss at this year's Montreal Fringe. He'll be there to make you laugh at all of his apparent life losses and probably make you laugh at whatever demise you've considered yourself to have endured in this life.
CHECK IT OUT!
The Quitter opens on Friday June 13th in the Montreal Fringe at Montreal Improve Theatre.
Additional runs on June 15-16, 19-21.
Tickets on sale now.
Click here for all Montreal Fringe booking information.
Click here for more information on all touring dates in Vancouver, Regina, Edmonton and Winnipeg.