Michael Lake in Counting to a Hundred.
Michael Lake in Counting to a Hundred.

In his show Counting to a Hundred, solo performer and writer Michael Lake steps onto the stage with three piles of paper, each numbered from 1 to 100. One pile has quotes, another contains snippets from a letter to the future, and the third is Michael’s story.

Moving between each pile, alternating between story, quotes and letter, the overall effect is astonishing, keeping us constantly engaged and hanging on his every word.

Not that Lake needs the gimmick, as he is thoroughly watchable. The personal story he shares is that of a gay man, and while I won’t spoil the details, I will say that from my vantage point every member of the small audience, myself included, was wiping away tears throughout the performance.

Lake is so open-hearted, so vulnerable, and so real that you feel as though you’re having a drink with a friend as they share a story with you. I did not want this show to end.

Don’t miss Counting to One Hundred. It is not only one of the most vulnerable performances I’ve ever seen; it also has one of the best endings to a fringe show I have ever experienced.

Counting to a Hundred continues at the Neptune Windsor Studio (1589 Argyle Street, Halifax) as part of the Halifax Fringe Festival. Visit halifaxfringe.ca for tickets and information.