Fringe Review: Blue Velvet – The Silver Stage

By Crystal Wood



Shadowcasting is cool!

Wait, what is shadowcasting, you say? I didn’t know either before I went to see David Lynch’s Blue Velvet at the Bloor Cinema last night. Wait, cult movies at the Fringe? I know, it just keeps getting better!

Essentially, shadowcasting is when actors stand in front of a movie screen and re-enact what’s being projected behind them, with a healthy dose of improv, silly props and live music. The performers behind The Silver Stage are all young and energetic. At last night’s show, I especially enjoyed Emily Armstrong playing Laura Dern playing Sally and Ryan G. Hinds playing “various roles.” (Hmm, describing actors playing actors playing various characters, is that right?) I also enjoyed Carmen Elle, who doubled as Dean Stockwell’s Ben and accompanying guitar/vocals.

Now, here is my shameful confession: I had never seen Blue Velvet before. (I know! I’m sorry! The problem has since been rectified!) The reason I’m owning up to this is because I think I picked the wrong night to go. There are four movies to choose from (Jurassic Park, Blue Velvet, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Repo! The Genetic Opera, as well as the musical Buffy episode, Once More, With Feeling.) I had thought the smartest tactic was to see the thing I hadn’t already. It turns out I was wrong.

What The Silver Stage does is hilarious and brilliant, but you need an understanding of the movie being shadowcasted to really “get it” for two reasons. Technically speaking, the spotlights, sounds and movement sometimes overshadow the film projection, casting dark shadows that make it hard to see the screen. But more importantly, if you know the characters, you’re one step ahead when they spoof them. There was more than one occasion where my laughter was about 4 seconds behind the true Lynch fans in the audience.

For that reason, I may just go back next Sunday, when The Silver Stage presents the cult film of all cult films, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. See you there?

Photo: Anthony Furey as Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle Maclachlan) and Jo Fallak as Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rosselini). Photo by Robin Sharp.


Directors: Robin Sharp, Alex Woodside, Justin Decloux
Audience: Mature (Language, Content, Nudity)
Running Times Vary

Venue 16: The Bloor Cinema
Sun, July 5 (Once More, With Feeling – 70 min) 9:30 PM
Tue, July 7 (Jurassic Park – 127 min) 9:30 PM
Wed, July 8 (Repo! The Genetic Opera – 98 min) 9:30 PM
Thu, July 9 (Blue Velvet – 120 min) 9:30 PM
Fri, July 10 (Once More, With Feeling – 70 min) 9:30 PM
Sat, July 11 (Jurassic Park – 127 min) 9:30 PM
Sun, July 12 (The Rocky Horror Picture Show – 100 min) 9:30 PM

 – All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only), or with interac and credit at the advance ticket box office at the Fringe Club (292 Brunswick Ave)

Advance tickets are available by phone (416-966-1062) or at, there is a $2 service charge for these

– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows