Fringe: Best Of The Festival


Revolution 4 & 5: Our favourite shows from the 28th annual Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival

Though Vue Weekly actually managed to review every single show that
went up at the 28th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, for the
sake of brevity, below we present just our favourites, those that garnered
four or five stars from our team of reviewers. We hope it helps make your
final Fringe weekend a treat.

For the full slate of reviews, be sure to visit our website, And, of
course, if these shows are sold-out, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the
Fringe holdovers.

Reviews by David Berry (DB), Paul Blinov (PB), Bryan
Birtles (BB), Kylie Dawn Burton (KDB), Jonathan Busch
(JB), Cody Civiero (CC), Kristina De Guzman (KD), Scott
Harris (SH), Sue Karp (SK), Alexis Kienlen (AK), Maria
Kotovych (MK), Kim Misutka (KM), Fawnda Mithrush (FM),
Carrie Nugent (CN), Ramin Ostad (RO), Adam Waldron-Blain
(AWB), Shayne Woodsmith (SW)

The Accident (Stage 6)

Jonno Katz is a one-man whirlwind, a physical performer deserving of the
highest accolades. His physical ability onstage heightens The Accident, an
already curiously enjoyable script about two brothers, the younger dreaming
of a high-concept art installation, the older of his low sperm-count. His
performance is fluid as he twirls from one character to the next, swapping
between them as they converse, argue, kiss and even fornicate. Elsewhere, he
excitedly runs through the entire digestive process, teeth to anus, acting
out every part as he goes. It’s equally comic, twisted and genius.

The Author’s Voice (Stage 10)

You couldn’t accuse either Richard Greenburg’s script nor this production of
excessive subtlety, but it rarely hampers this story about a pretty-boy
author (Steve Jodoin) who owes all his literary success to the hunchback (Jon
Lachlan Stewart) living in his closet. Cleverly touching on the lies we
create to sustain ourselves and what happens to us when they dissipate, it’s
alternately grimly funny and viciously dramatic, though it works better as
the former, thanks largely to the offbeat chemistry of Jodoin and Stewart,
and a small but sharp turn by Sarah Sharkey as a horny literary agent.

Addition: an Unconventional Love Story (Stage 5)

Local playwright Justen Bennett creates a believable, funny and sweet story
in this tale of a loving gay couple who decide to bring a third to their bed.
This play is a complete treat. The script is snappy and the plot moves along
at a rapid pace. Characters are fully rounded and have discussions that let
their nerd flags as they discuss Star Trek, board games and role play. The
actors seemed a bit nervous on their first night, but by the end of the run
should be able to deliver a top-flight show. AK

Afterlife (Stage 9)

Candy Simmons is an absolute treat. A keen and magnetic performer, Simmons
takes on three monologues of American women from different eras of the past
century. In turns dramatic, darkly funny, and wonderfully surprising, the
triad of characters struggle with the pursuit of happiness and their
unyielding expectations of themselves. The Appalachian midwife wants
children, the ’60s housewife wants more, and the ruthless modern
businesswoman can’t get a hold of what she wants at all. There are touching
moments, sadistic ones, and outright magnificent silences. A sometime Fringe
rarity, this is a stunning one-woman tour de force that’s garnering plenty of
attention, and is not to be missed. FM

A Final Whimsy (BYOV S)

Using an actual church as a setting for a play has its disadvantages, but the
uncomfortable seating is more than made up for by a talented cast and Fringe
veteran David Belke’s winning—and occasionally musical—script.
Somewhat over-the-top performances that’ll have you cracking up become so
powerful they’ll make you tear up. Like a joke, the talented three-female
ensemble tricks you into waiting for the punch line. But it turns out the
punch line itself was never the point. KD

A Watched Pot Never Boyles (Stage 2)

NextFest started the buzz about the Boyles (pronounced Boy-les) and this
year’s Fringe will certainly spread the word. Smartly constructed duo Walter
Boyle (Arlen Konopaki) and Esther Horse (Amy Shostak) will split your sides
with their crude humour and wacky relationship. Once Esther, a
self-proclaimed misunderstood actress, and Walter, a doctor/lawyer/party
animal, meet, you can’t picture them holding a romantic moment, but they have
chemistry that will have you cheering for them until the house lights appear.
The characters of Norman Jewison and Atticus Fitch make odd yet appropriate
appearances as well. You’ll want to see this again just to bring a new set of
friends to laugh with. KM

Boat Load (Stage 3)

You know this town. You probably grew up in this town. The town of broken
dreams and dead ends. This is Gary’s town. He’s in it with his “loudly
bombastic” father and “the black cloud” that is his mother as well as a
multitude of other oddities. Gary’s best friend is his cat Mr. Tangerine and
his greatest aspiration is to become a famous actor. So what can he do when
he has to choose between paying for a surgery to save Tangerine’s life or to
get his “big break”? It’s not an easy choice, but you’ll love watching Gary
make it. KDB

Captain Hook vs. The Zombies (Stage 8)

This is
definitely not the Peter Pan story you remember. In fact, it’s more like if
George Romero made a prequal to the classic, where Hook and Pan fought
together against a horde of zombies. The show works well on many levels: the
reimagined past lives of these classic characters—like Hook being a
narcissistic hero figure—adds subtle charm, even if you’ve never heard
of Neverland. The acting and script are tight, and the pacing is quick, never
staying in one scene too long. While the final twist is predictable, there’s
a lot of charm and wit in this show. RO

Cherry Cherry Lemon (Stage 6)

Cherry Cherry
Lemon takes us through the failed relationships of a pair of saucy women with
both comic and heartfelt frankness. Made up of monologues and conversations
(and some live guitar accompaniment, which feels a little tacked-on but adds
quiet mood when it’s present), it’s performed by a potent duo who can easily
switch between laughing and crying at their relationship woes. There are many
moments of both: the show probably has some of the punchiest one-liners at
the Fringe (after discovering her one-night stand is lacking down below, one
character laments “This is how Smurfs fuck!”). Somewhat more interesting,
though, is that they remain just as frank when discussing sex tenderly while
remaining totally engrossing to watch. A show to bet on. PB

City Tensei (Stage 6)

For a play that quickly plunges its central character into an existential
crisis of the heart (one spanning, uhh, all of time), City Tensei shoulders
its big concepts with simple finesse: while we’re given a glimpse into
Alouicious’ many lives, the narrative is clear and engaging, and driving
exposition (and colourful delivery) from Stuart Hoye’s Fox all mix for an
affecting tale of heartbreak spread across multiple worlds. Add in a dash of
myth, hand the script to four capable actors and you’ve got a well-imagined
show worth watching. PB

Cowboy Mouth (BYOV U)

Their bipolar lives are out of control and all Cavale and Slim can do to
glimpse happiness, in between bouts of terrible angst, is to escape their
self-inflicted prison through stories and music. They personify an artist’s
unattainable obsession to create perfection, in this case “a rock-and-roll
Jesus with a cowboy mouth.” The acting is superb. It’s like watching a
reality TV show of a failing marriage between two rock stars, only they’re
actually in your living room. The play is emotionally charged and as gripping
as a gigantic lobster’s claws. SW

Excuse Me: This is the Truth! (Stage 3)

A very funny show, Excuse Me: This is the Truth! follows the church camp
non-shenanigans of Sarah-Rae and her boyfriend Levi—they’ve been dating
three years, after meeting at the camp—as Levi comes to grips with the
fact that his girlfriend is, well, a total control freak. With daddy issues.
When camp newcomer and sexy siren Maddy shows up and takes a liking to Levi,
his whole safe world basically crumbles. Though the show I saw was slightly
hampered by a few technical difficulties owing to bad projector placement,
the comedic timing and chemistry between the three onstage actors and their
offstage “technician” is definitely something to pay attention to.


I was impressed: FULL FRONTAL NUDITY, despite the title, works very
well—if this is the best-put together show I review at the Fringe, I
wouldn’t be surprised. NUDITY is a simple play, but the cast is convincing,
the structure interesting and it’s fun. I’m sure it’s going to be popular,
but it’s a little self-important in the way it tells us didactically about
the transformative powers of Great Art. The characters are intriguingly
trying to be better people, but some details are a stretch, and it’s a little
obvious and manipulative. Nobody’s going to faint watching it. AWB

Full of Sound and Fury (Stage 4)

You know what I really hate? People who start laughing before anything
actually funny happens. The fact that this faux-production of MacBeth starts
with credits is not a joke, not when I just got out of an awful play with
terribly real projections: the humor here relies on the starting out and
finishing 100 percent seriously. I hated these actors’ other production, but
perhaps their minds were elsewhere, because they put everything they’ve got
into this, and it shows. It takes time to persuade you, but by the
surprisingly convincing finish everything fits perfectly. Plus: the program
is a prop! AWB

The Further Adventures of Antoine Feval (Stage 2)

If you didn’t see the 2005 fringe hit Antoine Feval, have no fear: this
sequel is still bound to make you nearly burst a gut on more than several
occasions. Gibbs succeeds in being his own one-man act, transforming
effortlessly between the self-deprecating Barnaby Gibbs and the seemingly
great Victorian detective Antoine Feval as he tells a fun Sherlock-style
mystery plot backed by a smart script. As soon as Gibbs stepped onto the
stage, bursts of laughter was already emanating from the crowd. Having both a
dry wit coupled with impeccable comedic timing, Gibbs is a born storyteller,
whose quick deliveries will have some folks struggling just a bit to keep up.

Gordon’s Big Bald Head: Grand Theft Improv (BYOV P)

It’s hard to review a show that relies completely on improvisation and
therefore won’t be replicated, but I have complete faith in Gordon’s Big Bald
Head’s ability to deliver laughs with impressive consistency. Based on the
premise of the group “hijacking” another Fringe act to be determined at
random by members of the audience, Thursday’s particular incarnation involved
a Belgian cabaret singer, an amnesiac assassin, and a slutty cocktail
waitress. In a stroke of brilliance, the closing narration involved the
latter two eloping to a place where “a man without a past can give a woman
with no future a present.” Need anything more be said about their quick wits?

Guys in Disguise Classic 2: The Sequin (BYOV F)

It’s easy to see why Guys in Disguise cabarets like this have been a fringe
staple for so long: performers like Bianca, Krystal Ball and Chanelta, bring
enough costume changes, mostly-sung performances and glittery personality for
everyone in the audience. And then some. The banter is quality, of course:
they go easy on the audience, but get relentless when it comes to each other.
I don’t want to give away their gags, but their choices of G-rated and, uhh,
scat-related songs are hilarious and perfect surprises. Toss in some audience
participation with a trio of Falsies eager to please, and you’ve got a
dazzler. PB

The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over (Stage 2)

It’s difficult to pull off a one-woman show with fluidity and grace. Yet
Gemma Wilcox plays 20 characters from a peacock to Uncle Tony unbelievably
bang-on. Audiences will find it mesmerizing in how she transforms her entire
body into the persona of each character with such ease and clear distinction.
The drama follows Sandra, who’s working to re-piece her spiceless marriage
with Michael while visiting relatives. Watch as they learn from those around
them and search within themselves illustrating the individual journey
everyone must partake to happiness. KM

Letters to Noce (Stage 4)

Letters to Noce was well-reviewed and popular during it’s run in NextFest
earlier this year, and really, there isn’t much to add. It’s funny,
especially in its attention to the details: not just in Noce and his imagined
lifestyles, but downtown Edmonton, trips to Holt Renfrew and the various
supporting characters Vanessa Lever portrays. The weakest points are
occasional moments of piped-in music which seem awkward, short and
unnecessary at the start, leading to a slightly longer Mission Impossible
interlude (some people apparently loved it). But the last one, with a big
reveal, is well worth it. AWB

Life in a Box (Stage 10)

Geoffrey’s life slowly begins to unravel when he gets a call from an orphaned
bubble boy who was supposed to just be a story. Brent Hirose leans on parodic
comedy for much of Life in a Box—an overzealous detective, a bitchy
sister and, most successfully, a news anchor breaking down over getting
dumped by his fiance—but it’s a testament to his ability that he still
manages to make the show genuinely affecting, whether he’s portraying the
trapped boy wondering what’s going to happen to him or drawing a pathetic
little smile on a stand-in goldfish. Ultimately, it’s a touching and funny
play all about what happens when the stories we’ve created won’t stay on the
page. DB

Mockingbird Close (Stage 1)

Perception and appearances take centre stage in this new work by Edmonton
playwright Trevor Schmidt as high-strung, traditional suburban couple Iris
and Hank, living in the titular middle-class suburban cul-de-sac, discover
their son is missing and set out in their idyllic neighbourhood to search for
him. Offering a fascinating exploration of suburban pretence,
neighbours—deftly shifted through by duo Tiana Leonty and Cody
Porter—reveal themselves to be innocuous, judgmental, sinister and
pathetic, depending on whose perspective they are viewed from as the play
develops through to its surprising conclusion. SH

Molly (Stage 8)

On top of a mountain, Kate and her husband Michael attempt to make sense of a
tragic loss, and come to terms with life’s disappointments. Both melancholy
and humorous, Molly’s protagonists want to be away from a world that doesn’t
make sense the way it used to. Playing some familiar tunes on our
heartstrings, the play is moving and subtle, though somewhat flawed. Kate and
Michael are at times difficult to relate to, perhaps due to the often stellar
but sometimes uneven acting. In the end, the play will move most audiences,
though probably not over a mountain top. RO

Moving Along (BYOV Q)

There’s no shortage of a one-man shows at the Fringe, but there is a shortage
of innovative ones. Homeboy Chris Craddock has returned to prove that you can
indeed do a unique solo show—you can even run your own lighting at the
same time. Seated in his electro-chair outfitted with armrest dimmers and
surrounded by various spotlights, Craddock shares personal stories from his
past while quickly casting a range of shifting shadows on his face. Between
swift clicks he connects the tales in themes of damage, loss and discovery.
The effect is almost filmic; the deft light changes make it seems as though
he’s stuck in the edits of an Ingmar Bergman dream sequence. Craddock’s
script is very moving, his performance welcoming and candid. Though we’re
constantly bogged by quantitative judgements in life, this show will remind
you that quality is what truly matters. FM

nggrfg (Stage 5)

Add the vowels to find out the real title of Berend McKenzie’s solo show
about being black and queer. McKenzie’s pain becomes the audience’s pleasure
as he deftly recounts autobiographical stories from his childhood, awkward
adolescence and stereotypes about black men in the movies. The personal is
the political in this confessional, brave and emotionally moving new work.
McKenzie is a charismatic performer and a great mimic who brings a number of
characters to life. The play made me laugh, but also made me cry, and I’ve
never cried while watching a Fringe play before. AK

Old Wicked Songs

Brash and very American piano prodigy Stephen Hoffman, who has been
struggling to rekindle his passion for the instrument, travels to Vienna for
lessons with talented but troubled singing coach Professor Josef Mashkan.
With the backdrop of the mid-’80s rise of the Austrian right, the
relationship between the two develops as they explore the passion of music,
the nature of joy and sorrow and the challenges of history. Live performances
of Schumann’s soaring works and compelling dialogue delivered with humour and
resonance by the duo (Anderson is especially good as Mashkan, the more
compelling of the two characters) make the play, despite its length, a
thoroughly enjoyable exploration. SH

Pinter’s Briefs (BYOV C)

Having never seen a Harold Pinter play before, I was impressed with the
delicate wit present throughout this collection of short comedic works.
Pinter’s Briefs is clever, sharp and laugh-out-loud funny. Perfect timing and
delivery by the very skilled cast made the most of Pinter’s scripts and his
signature use of silence. This is an excellent introduction to his works, but
performed with such skill as to be appreciated by diehard Pinter fans alike.
Well worth the trek away from the Fringe beer gardens across Mill Creek
bridge. CN

The Pumpkin Pie Show (BYOV N)

The pie returns with an entirely new set of monologues performed by the
marvelous Hanna Cheek, a versatile New Yorker who takes on three characters
surrounding a school shooting. Cheek nails every word and gesture with a
grand intensity, fulfilling a script vulnerable enough to otherwise be
mishandled in somebody else’s hands. The physical interpretation of the text
finds a voice for Cheek’s own sparkling personality, emerging from underneath
a cluster of fictional ones that she fashions to make wholly interesting.

Rabbit Rabbit (Stage 9)

First things first: this is not a Watership Down homage. The playfulness of
the title actually makes for a disturbing slap in the face to the audience.
See, Larry the Clown has a thing for young prostitutes. The 16-year-old he’s
hired today isn’t his regular, and he’s having some difficulty coming to
terms with that. A clown and a hooker may seem to fall under certain
character stereotypes—especially when it comes to themes of pedophilia
and fetishism—but these two are refreshingly complex, played with zeal
and grit by Katie Swift and Alex McCooeye. This is a very provocative script,
one that affirms playwright Amy Lee Lavoie as one to watch for on the new
Canadian theatre circuit. It’s unsettling and perverse, but well worth the
ticket. FM

Reflections on Giving Birth to a Squid (Stage 7)

Reflections has a bit of a misleading title. On the surface, it’s an
emotional tale of how dramatically one woman’s life is changed after giving
birth to a squid. This event begins a reflection on our society’s need to
both celebritize and demonize things we don’t understand—it’s easier,
even for the mother, than trying to understand. But the writing never feels
preachy, instead showing a genuine sense of confusion and fear that comes not
only from parenthood, but from literally facing the unknown. Each actor gives
a spectacular performances, even with multiple roles to tangle with. Combined
with a tight script, it’s by far one of the top-tier shows of this Fringe.

Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show (BYOV B)

The thing about BYOVs is that sometimes the space plays such a huge role in
the show. Because it isn’t a traditional theatre venue, the setting becomes
like another cast member, influencing the show in an esthetic sense. When it
falls flat, it falls way flat, but when it works—as it does in the case
of staging The Rocky Horror Show at New City—boy does it ever work. A
show about gothic titillation and sexy horror at the only bar in the city
where a corset could be considered proper attire works big time. Not to
mention that, aside from a few sound issues, the show itself is first rate,
making Rocky Horror Show a riot. And you can drink during the show, which
causes a not insignificant amount of playful rowdiness. BB

School House Rock LIVE! (Stage 11)

Learning made fun. Cheesy? Yes. Dorky? Perhaps. But School House Rock LIVE!
will make your toe tap while you count up in multiples of five on your hands.
It’s an afterschool special that you never want to end, until it does, and
then you’re glad, not because it’s over but because it was the perfect amount
of singing. Well, maybe one song too many, but the cast does a fantastic job.
If you don’t leave singing the songs in you head, you’ll be whistling them.
Some of you may even cry nostalgic tears. I kind of want to see it again.

The Seven Lives of Louis Riel (Stage 4)

Once you accept that this production isn’t a play at all, and judge it as an
unusually dramatic lecture, there’s not much that you can complain about. The
Seven Lives of Louis Riel accepts the silliness of the one-man-show—I
don’t just mean that it’s funny, but the fact that these shows make up half
of the Fringe—and dispenses with the pretense of “theatre” to just have
a good time. Ryan Gladstone explains his process, takes questions from the
audience, and runs over time, but we’re all happy to hear him talk about
history because he loves it. AWB

Space (BYOV P)

An interstellar space crew messes with—and messes around
with—each other to ward off boredom in a light-hearted and fun sci-fi
screwball sex comedy that’s dripping with great lines, timing and delivery.
Sure, not a lot really happens, but the tedium of long-term space missions is
something that they really want to drive home, and do so with polished
wittiness. A minimalist but visually interesting futuristic sterilized white
set effectively gives off a 2001 vibe, while the costume design is equally
fitting. Thanks to these elements, it’s as enjoyable to look at as it is to
listen to. CC

Spiral Dive: Episode One (BYOV C)

The first instalment of Ken Brown’s trilogy of plays, Spiral Dive: Episode
One follows the story of a young Canadian fighter pilot in the RCAF in
England in the Second World War. What seems like a conventional story turns
out to be a brilliant and creative piece, transporting the audience back to
1940s England with a much more personal perspective of life during wartime
than we’re used to seeing. Incredible on-stage chemistry, skillful
performances and smooth transitions between scenes and characters make the
amazing script come to life. CN

Spiral Dive: Episode Two (BYOV C)

The brilliant second instalment of Ken Brown’s series, Spiral Dive: Episode
Two was even more impressive than the first episode. I found myself on the
edge of my seat, riveted as the story broadened. Time flew as the audience
followed the characters through the action, romance, and devastation of life
during the Second World War, beautifully performed and artfully executed. A
synopsis of Episode One starts the show, though you should do yourself a
favour and see both of them anyway. CN

Stop Start (Stage 7)

Brilliant, intense, poetic, a little maddening and a pure pleasure to watch,
Dawson Nichols’ one-man show brings starkly lush to a new level. Performed
entirely in a chair, Nichols expertly conveys two very different brothers and
their own personal perspectives on growing up together. Combined with memory
is the effect drugs have had on their lives, specifically caffeine, and the
wondrous mythologies surrounding one of humanity’s oldest addictions. With no
distracting stage movement, Nichols’ every muscle twitch becomes a broad
gesture and he so wondrously captures the disparate nature of the two main
characters that every moment is truly captivating. SK

The Skinny Presents … Adventures in X-Ray Theatre (Stage 3)

Like any good sketch comedy. this play begins with nipple tassels and a
couple banana hammocks. The three actors that comprise “The Skinny” are both
witty and funny, their stage chemistry only enhancing the comedy. If you want
to see Nancy Drew and Frank Hardy finally hook up or figure out just why Luke
Skywalker ended up with Leia then this is the show for you. Inevitably, some
sketches are far superior to others, but what other show will allow you to
see an 8-Mile-style face-off between Sylvia Plath and William S. Burroughs?
Move over, Seth Green. KDB

Tasha Diamant’s Human Body Project (Stage 3)

How can you rate someone’s vulnerability? The Human Body Project isn’t a
play; in fact, Tasha Diamant herself describes it as “anti-theater.” Tasha
and Megan are two beautiful, brave, naked women trying to “learn how to live”
and, in the process, allow the audience to open their minds. Tasha believes
it is “easier to be naked than to be open-hearted.” This experience can be
both enlightening and awkward. In fact, it’s bound to be different for
everyone, each show taking on a different life depending on what the audience
brings to it. But, if you want it to be, the experience can be profound.

The Teachings of the Dalai Larkin (Stage 7)

As a man in a plaid suit holding a philosophy degree, yeah, I take Steve
Larkin seriously, though his time on stage wasn’t anything resembling a play
even in the loose Fringe definition of the term. Larkin takes you on a stroll
through issues of social justice and ethics, including the deforestation of
orangutan habitats in Indonesia and the grinding hopelessness of modern
consumer life. These humorous, conversational speeches are really
introductions for the folk-tinged songs Larkin performs. Pithy and engaging,
Larkin delivers an outstanding show and lives up to his reputation as a
rambling poet. Plus, he bashes Calgary. SK

Teaching Shakespeare (BYOV M)

This one-man show features Keir Cutler as a pretentious popinjay of a college
English professor with a reactionary zeal for Shakespeare, as he gives an
animated and highly entertaining lecture on the author’s work. His brand of
academic should be familiar to students: he has exceptionally articulate ways
of alternating between saying nothing and actively contradicting himself in
order to defend Shakespeare’s own inconsistencies. His positions are
self-discrediting, yet he is somehow able to produce enough real merit to
make it ironic and not just pure buffoonery. Cutler is an astoundingly able
performer, and manages to make the most out of the material—the
50-minute diatribe doesn’t seem too long at all. CC

Wisdom Teeth (BYOV Q)

Flaws kick ass, says Kevin Gillese. That’s what makes people interesting, and
strong. It’s what makes Edmonton—”modern day Deadwood”—a good
place to live. Well, kinda. Departing from his usual comedic ways, here
Gillese takes a turn on the poetic side, waxing about relationships and oral
surgery in rap-style rhyme. His words are scored by impeccably timed video
footage of old lovers and local hockey riots. It gets a little emo sometimes,
but you can’t really have a confessional one-man Fringe show devoted to
ex-girlfriends without coming across as a little bitter, can you? His
delivery is honest and graceful, and by the end you’re left with a sense that
he knows he’s imperfect, but he’s learning to accept that. And though the
holes in his jaw remind him of everything that’s gone, they do leave him with
a little bit of space to grow. FM

The Year of Magical Thinking (Stage 1)

Local lawyer-turned-actor Holly Turner presents a moving rendition of Joan
Didion’s deeply personal account of the death of her husband, author John
Gregory Dunne, and the long-illness and eventual passing of her daughter,
Quintana. Flawlessly delivered by Turner, sitting alone on a stage decorated
only with delicately lit hanging fabric, the monologue, full of mental
attempts at detachment and struggles to control uncontrollable situations,
speaks powerfully to the myriad ways we deal—and our minds attempt to
find ways to avoid dealing—with death, loss and remembering.

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