Morgan BraytonEver had the experience of knowing a friend was talented – really talented? And then you see her truly rock out, and you realize, oh my god, I’d only seen a sliver of what she can do?

That’s how I felt watching Morgan Brayton performing her show Raccoonery last night at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. I knew she was funny, but had no idea she was that funny.

Nor did I know she could write characters that are hateful, self-delusional, poisonous or flat-out ignorant… yet bring out their humanity with just a few words, an insecure hesitation, or an offhand gesture, and turn what could have been contempt into compassion.

Nor did I know she could sing, or that she could write the kind of terrific, side-splitting songs that punctuate the show’s procession of characters. (Mayor Gregor Robertson gets a shout-out in one of them.)

Nor did I know that a friend I’ve known and worked with for the past two years could vanish so completely into a character, make me believe her, and then pop out again inside the space of a few minutes.

I know that now. Which is why I’m pretty confident in urging you to go see Raccoonery:

Morgan Brayton (Girls Like Me, 30 Helens) is back with a new collection of comedic characters; a moth with boyfriend troubles; a high school-hating, Van Halen-loving valedictorian of the class of ’84; a princess with a penchant for ice cream; oh, and the return of Button Bradley. Non-stop raccoonery from beginning to end!

“Brayton’s characterizations are detailed, her timing is impeccable, and her range is astonishing.” -Georgia Straight

“Proves sketch comedy can have the same emotional heft as any form of theatre.” -Xtra West

“She’s funny! -Westender

It runs September 11, 16, 17 and 19 on Granville Island as part of the Fringe Festival. (Comes complete with naughty language and – what’s the expression? – mature themes.) Buy tickets here.