Best Picture by Kurt Fitzpatrick
August 12 – 21 at Venue #40: La Cité Francophone
More information: sites.google.com/site/ribbittheatre
An interview with Kurt Fitzpatrick.
Describe your show in five words.
88 Best Pictures in one hour.
Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?
Three actors take on every Best Picture winner, from 1927’s “Wings” to 2015’s “Spotlight.” Each movie is done parody style, with impressions, physical comedy, and movie hijinks. Some stand alone, but other movies get mashed together. Shakespeare In Love with Annie Hall. Rocky fights a Million Dollar Baby. It all begins in Casablanca when Rick discovers a portal through time and space. After he jumps in, the audience is treated to the spectacle of witnessing the lampooning of all eighty-eight Oscar winners.
Best Picture tackles all 88 Oscar Best Picture Winners – how did you go about writing the show?
I went about writing the show by taking the time to watch each Best Picture, which I did over the course of about eight months. After each movie, I’d take detailed notes about it and do further research into it. Like did you know that Luise Rainer had won Best Actress twice and was still alive at 103 at the time we opened the show in 2014? That’s the kind of stuff I learned, and it just added to the writing process. From there I put all the movie titles into a bowl and I would determine which one got added to the overall script next by which one got pulled out of the bowl. I didn’t use that method for the whole process, but it got me started.
How did you come up with the idea for Best Picture?
We didn’t come up with the idea for “Best Picture.” We give that credit to Jon’s friend Kennedy Goodkey, who had pitched this to Jon some years ago but never got around to doing it. He gave us his blessing to go forward.
Can you share a particularly memorable moment or audience reaction from the past three summers of performing Best Picture?
We had a woman watch our show in Winnipeg from the stage right wing. We’re not sure when she snuck in, but she just pulled up a chair and watched from the side. We did ask her why she was there, but she just said she was watching the show. It was one of the stranger audience experiences I’ve had.
Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?
I would like audiences to know how accessible the show is. Sometimes people are concerned that they haven’t “seen all the movies.” I haven’t met many people who have. The show wouldn’t have been as successful as it has been in so many cities if everyone had to know all the movies. You may enjoy it on a different level if you are a die hard film fan, but either way there is great fun to be had throughout the whole show.
The 35th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 11 – 21. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.