Lafrance’s performance is full of fascinating twists and engaging moments.
By Saliha Chattoo
Two-time Just For Laughs winner Al Lafrance’s show is a Fringe storytelling treat. A self-professed “weirdo with passion projects” who loves tracking down others of similar inclinations, Lafrance takes the audience on an immersive treasure hunt through antique and thrift stores across North America through the tales of lost items and the people behind them. From a cassette tape of someone’s funeral to homemade records of a family trying to find joy at Christmastime during the war, Lafrance’s performance is full of fascinating twists and engaging moments of human connection. The main throughline of the show is about a rare board game called Hitchhiker, and in a true testament to Lafrance’s skills, even aspects of the tale that should be boring—like the minutia of the board game’s chaotic rules and how it was marketed—are completely engrossing and wildly entertaining. The show is packed with good laughs if not uproarious ones, and a couple heart-punches you don’t see coming. You realize about midway that this isn’t just good storytelling, it’s masterful; thematic parallels abound, and this collection of stories has you leaning in because you need to know how it ends. This is a show about the magic of creativity, creation, and discovery: a perfect Fringe vibe.