Not On Tour – But You Can Relive The Glory…

…by clicking here. This is how you can download all the columns I wrote documenting my 2008 tour. I am so good to you.

Oh, and here’s a picture that kinda sums up the summer of ’08 for me. 10,000 miles of driving, 80 or so performances, 10 cities, 4 months, 3 different shows, 1 van. You always want to have bananas around.
barry van bananas.jpg

Advertisements

Day 84 – Hard to leave Winnipeg…

...because I liked it so much. And really, there’s so much to like at the Winnipeg Fringe:

winni-volunteers.jpg

The Fringe volunteers like their jobs.

cara-fence.jpg

 

Cara likes fences. 

 

1234-cu.jpg

Barry likes numbers… 

 

 

 

barry-likes-self-portraits.jpg

…and pictures of himself. 

 

flashlights-01.jpg

This guy likes flashlights. 

 

girls-love-jayson.jpg

All the girls like Jayson. 

 

jayson-flosses.jpg

Possibly because he flosses in public. 

 

punkte-01.jpg

Otto loves Astrid. 

 

michelle-head-touching.jpg

Michelle likes touching people’s head. 

 

leanne-01.jpg

Leanne likes the Fringe. 

 

kym-loves-moosehead.jpg

Kym likes Moosehead. 

 

jem-jeff.jpg

Jem likes talking, Jeff likes squinting. 

 

keir-sam.jpg

Keir and Sam like their vertical differences. 

 

top-shot.jpg

Barry likes this picture. 

 

greg-squints.jpg

Greg likes bright lights… 

 

barry-cries.jpg

…and making Barry cry. 

 

barry-likes-caberlesque.jpg

Barry likes Caberlesque. 

 

 

Day 83 – One Last Winnipeg Wrap-up

While I was walking down the street on my second day in Winnipeg, I saw this poster.

zappa-poster-ws.jpg

Well, OK, that’s a lot of posters. But I looked closely and saw this –

zappa-poster-cu.jpg

This is Frank Zappa’s son Dweezil playing the music of his father, and playing it quite well, by all accounts. This show was in Montreal a little bit before me, and in Toronto a little bit after me, so I was assuming that it would be in some city at the same time as me. And I was right. That city was Winnipeg. And the venue was, literally, across the street from the place I’d be performing Jesus In Montana.

zappa-marquee.jpg

Look, I’m standing on the corner of Market and Main, looking towards where Dweezil will play…

zappa-venue-ws.jpg

then I turned around and took a pic of where I’ll be playing. Across the street. In case you didn’t believe me.

jesus-venue-ws.jpg

The only thing was – the Zappa show happened on my opening night, at exactly the same time! No way I could make it. None at all.

I suppose it would help if you knew what a huge Zappa fan I am. Well then – I’m a huge Zappa fan. Now you know.

But I figured that if you have to miss a show, the coolest way to miss it is if you’re doing your own show. Right? Right!? Thanks. I feel better.

Later that night, after my show, I went to the beer tend and walked past these guys.

zappa-shirts.jpg

Obviously they weren’t standing like this when I walked past them, but I did notice their shirts, asked them if they were at the gig. Duh. I then made them give me a note-for-note rundown of the show, which they were still very excited about. I missed a good one, it seems.

But then again, Dweezil missed seeing my show, so I feel kinda bad for him, too…

Day 80 – Farewell to the Peg

One of the highlights of the Winnipeg Fringe for me was Dr. Calagari’s Cabaret of Lies. This was a late-night (Saturday midnight) variety show put on by about 15 different Fringe performers. It was organized by Jem Rolls and TJ Dawe, both Fringe veterans. They did a great job of putting together a show amidst chaos.

A venue was found – upstairs at the King’s Head Pub – and tickets were made. The show sold out within 15 minutes, with about 150 tickets flying out the door.

cabaret-chaos-2.jpg

Penny Ashton (Hot Pink Bits), Michelle Todd (Deep Fried Curried Perogies),
TJ Dawe (Maxim and Cosmo)and Jem Rolls (Jem Rolls Up), pre-cabaret…

barry-tj-jem.jpg

Me, TJ, Jem, with just a hint of the top of Keir Cutler’s head…

The show was lit by flashlight. I bought 20 of them, along with batteries, and we handed them out to the audience with instructions to point them at whatever was happening at the time. Here is the crowd, still in line outside the venue, happily pairing flashlights with batteries. You could not have asked for a better crowd, and not just for their mechanical skills.

cabaret-of-lies-finale.jpg

The big finale, everyone on stage…

fugitives-01.jpg

…including the Fugitives, a band from Vancouver who were doing a show called “The New Art of Poetry Clubbing.” They were so very good, and provided the closing song for everyone to riff on.

bank-of-canada.jpg

I’m in Canada. Here’s proof.

barry-and-nile.jpg

I know Nile. Here’s proof.

barry-barbara.jpg

I know Barbara Adler from the Fugitives. Here’s proof.

do-not-open.jpg

Birds flying over and yelling “No” at you is the best way to keep you from opening something dangerous. Here’s proof.

giant-invisible-keir-2.jpg

Keir Cutler REALLY wants to cameo in Jayson McDonald’s amazing solo show, “Giant Invisible Robot.” He wants to be the robot. Here’s proof.

giant-invisible-keir.jpg

And more proof….

stupid-sold-out.jpg

I can pose in really stupid ways. Here’s proof.

jem-moth.jpg

Jem attracts moths. Here’s proof.

winnipeg-manhole1.jpg

When I tell a group of people to put their heads together and look at the ground, they obey me. Here’s proof.

winnipeg-closing-pic-of-pic.jpg

Lots of pictures to be taken on the last night at the King’s Head.

jennys-and-dishpig.jpg

I won a Jenny Award. So did Keir. Greg Landucci (Dishpig) didn’t. You may remember Greg from Orlando, where he won the “Best of Venue” award instead of me. Well, now we’re even. Or tied, depending on how you want to look at it.

happy-donkeys.jpg

Our Jenny Awards being looked after…

Winnipeg was everything I was told it would be – an amazing festival with dream audiences. People there really turn out for the Fringe, and the performers are loved and appreciated. I’m already excited about going back next year.

Next stop, Saskatoon…

 

 

Day 74 – Best of Fest – Winnipeg Fringe Festival

Jesus In Montana won “Best of Fest” in the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, meaning I get an extra show on Sunday, and I get to write “Best of Fest” on stuff from now on. Not that I haven’t been already, but now I can do it without guilt…

A review from the Winnipeg Sun:

Jesus is back! Or so Barry Smith thought. One day after surviving a few too
many acid trips, the Colorado dishwasher — who renounced his fundamentalist
upbringing as a kid — heard Jesus was coming to Montana, and hitchhiked over to
see if it was true. Indeed it was — except Jesus was a pedophile who preferred
to be called Doc and didn’t have the cool surfer hair Smith hoped. Using a
multi-media show of home video, photos and audio from his past, Smith’s true
story of how he fell into and eventually escaped early ’90s cult life is creepy
and moving. Fueled by his newfound faith, his determination to warn the world —
or anyone who would listen — about the impending Apocalypse got to the point
where he could think of nothing else. Smith has captured his journey in a
written work that translates well to stage. His delivery is engaging — almost
like a preacher. Wonder where he learned that.

Sun Rating: 4 out of 5

— Lindsey Ward

And some photos of some stuff…

jim-sold-out-winni-3.jpg

jim-sold-out-winni-2.jpg

jim-sold-out-winni.jpg

jim-line-winni.jpg

People lining up to listen to me talk about Jesus. Amen…

Day 73 – Winnipeg Reviews

The reviews came out last week, but, well, I was distracted (see earlier post) so I’m just now posting them:
From the Winnipeg Free Press

Jesus in Montana: Adventures in a Doomsday Cult

5 STARS!

“Did I really hitchhike up to Montana and accept an 80-year-old pedophile as my lord and saviour?”

Did he ever.

But Colorado humourist Barry Smith has a perfectly good explanation of how that, and his three-year stint in a Doomsday cult, came to be backed up by graphs, numerology, biblical passages, and photographs of the alleged Messiah in Missoula. How he manages to cover his surreal spiritual journey from budding Southern Baptist to pot-smoking college drop-out who decided” God is kind of a jerk,” to “certified guru-aholic” in 60 minutes is a miracle in itself. (He has a little help from a divinely funny Power Point presentation).

Smith is such a skilled and passionate storyteller that he could have crafted a riveting one-man show out of his boyhood on the Mississippi Delta alone.

Instead, we’re blessed with a gutsy, gut-busting and brilliantly told account of misguided devotion that is hugely entertaining and gently thought-provoking. It may, however, leave you with two burning questions:

What am I committed to with my whole being? And, is Paul McCartney dead?
— Carolin Vesely

And from the CBC

4 STARS!

Reasonable doubt can be a dangerous thing. Sometimes, for example, it sets murderers/pro-football players free. And sometimes, it makes you believe that Jesus has returned in the form of an 80-year-old ex-con living in Montana. That’s the true story Barry Smith relates in this sort of disturbing, but mostly very funny, monologue. Barry tells us how a rather selective interpretation of Biblical prophecy led him to spend three years in a religious cult (but he’s much better now). It’s a bizarre, hilarious, and strangely relatable tale.

Smith’s delivery is fantastic – he’s quick, dryly comical, and most importantly, authentic. Standing at a microphone for most of the hour, he makes great use of projected graphics (like a fancy PowerPoint show) and film to help us follow the potentially-complicated plot. It’s a bit of a slow burn, and some parts (like his hitchhiking stories) seem to run a bit long. Still, it’s a funny and riveting hour. Can Barry Smith get an “amen?” Yes he can.

—–

I’ll admit I was tempted to remove the part from the CBC review about how parts of my show seem to run a bit long, but I thought I’d leave it intact. Because I’m authentic. What’s so bad about a slow burn, anyway?

And here, for no reason, is a picture of my venue in Winnipeg.

playhouse-studio.jpg

Playhouse Studio, seats 110, air conditioned. Ahhhhh…