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Fringe review: Three Nights to Forever

Three Nights to Forever
Directed by David Cheoros; Northern Sabbatical Productions; Old Strathcona Public Library; Sat., Aug. 24.
Our Score
Three Nights to Forever

By Jake Pesaruk 

Every once in a while a show manages to waltz with ambiguity, be really about nothing at all, and opts to build its narrative on the foundations of character, depth, and personality,

Three Nights to Forever is not that play. 

It tries very hard to be that play and begins on that road, but then flies off a guardrail at about 120, crashing and bursting into a napalm cloud of mediocrity. 

Enter the town of Treasure, a small British Columbian sanctuary in the middle of a blizzard that houses all sorts of wacky and zany characters—ranging from the Barkeep Hermie (Kevin Tokarsky), the village heiress Korny (Francine Goodwin- Davies) and the barfly aptly named Bumble (Andy Northrup)—all of whom have their respective winter happy hours intruded upon by newcomers Rudy (Jame Hamilton) and Clarice (Janelle Jorde). 

What should’ve been a simple recipe for a charming tale of yore that pulls on the heartstrings of simple Canadiana and the feverous nature of small-town loyalty, turns into a Barney and Friends purgatory with choppy and fumbled line delivery, weak and mostly toothless humour, and a script that wastes sincere performances by most of the cast. 

The plot alludes that there is some power in the town, as the village regulars often tell Rudy and Clarice that “three nights to forever” is the amount of time anyone has ever spent in Treasure.

What starts as a possible otherworldly allusion ends in one of the only quality aspects of the show: its attempt at sincerity, as what may seem bizarre about the town at first slowly moves into the realm of quaint and non-threatening. 

Sadly quaint and non-threatening delivered in the manner of this performance really lives up to this show’s namesake, as by the time you’ve left you’ll have sworn you spent three nights to forever watching a play with no pay-off.

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