Reviews - Fringe 2019

Squeeze My Cans

By Bryan Boodhoo
Published July 27, 2019

This is one of the Fringe shows not to be missed. The title and the graphic on the marketing pieces are a little misleading, as one would assume that this is a show about alien sex. It's not, but there's is a very amusing part about aliens. I'll let you learn what squeezing the cans really means...and the best way to do that is to see the show.

The premise of the show is that this is the true-life story of Cathy Schenkelberg, who was inducted into Scientology. Schenkelberg tells the audience in a very well thought out script how she went from being a very curious women in her twenties to someone who spent her entire life savings (and then some) on Scientology. There's a quite a bit of high quality audio-video work supporting Schenkelberg as she tells us her story.

Schenkelberg herself is high-energy and well-polished. She connects with the audience in a personal way that's more direct than any other stage performer I've seen in a while. She offers hugs and handshakes to everyone at the end of the show. She definitely is in the running for best performer of this year's fringe (although I don't actually think that's a thing).

This show has been making its way around the fringe circuit since 2016. Hamilton may be its last stop on the tour. This inevitably means we get a version with everything fully worked out. It also means that when it's gone, it's really gone.

Squeeze My Cans is an important fringe show, and a very funny one. If a smart, young woman like Schenkelberg can get caught by Scientology, it can really happen to anyone, except maybe next time it will be called something else.

Bryan Boodhoo is a Hamilton-based playwright, director, short fiction writer and lawyer. His plays have been produced in Edmonton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton. He is also part of the Theatre Aquarius Playwright's Unit. His most recent play, "G-Star Live's Notes from IKEA Burlington" is playing at Evergreen Hamilton Community Storefront (294 James St. North) as part of the 2018 Hamilton Fringe Gallery series.


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