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Edmonton - Press Release

Award-winning, one-man show ‘Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me, But Banjos Saved My Life,’ returns to the Edmonton Fringe Festival!

The inspirational, humorous and internationally toured one-man show created by entrepreneur Keith Alessi comes off a highly successful Fringe Festival tour. 'Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me, But Banjos Saved My Life' kicked the year off in New York City at the Frigid Fringe Festival in January and most recently late last month, performed at the Winnipeg Fringe to a sold out run and warm reviews, including five stars from the Winnipeg Free Press.

It's with delight and overwhelming gratitude that Keith returns to the Edmonton International Fringe Festival this year.

Thursday, August 15 @ 8:00pm

Saturday, August 17 @ 12:00pm

Sunday, August 18 @ 2:00pm

Tuesday, August 20 @ 3:45pm

Friday, August 23 @ 7:30pm

Saturday, August 24 @ 1:45pm

Sunday, August 25 @ 6:00pm

Location: Backstage Theatre, Venue 2, 10330 84 Ave., Edmonton

GET TICKETS HERE!

After a major life-changing event caused a high-flying corporate CEO to suddenly retire and reevaluate what’s important in life, a banjo-picking storyteller was created with a message of resilience, hope and perseverance. Now, he tells his inspiring story at Fringe Festivals and shows in the US, Canada and this past May, the UK, at the 2019 Brighton Fringe Festival.

‘Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me, But Banjos Saved My Life,’ written and performed by Keith Alessi, is an award-winning and highly reviewed one-man show that has been touring North American since June of 2018 after it premiered in Chicago, Illinois. He tells the story of his multi-cultural boyhood, meteoric rise in the boardroom to the startling news that changed his life forever. He candidly reveals to his audience how he used that obstacle to find a new passion in music and a cathartic outlet in storytelling.

At the 2019 New York City Frigid Fringe Festival, it received three awards, including Most Inspirational Show.

2019 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival Presents: A Quivering Dendrites Production

TOMATOES TRIED TO KILL ME, BUT BANJOS SAVED MY LIFE

Written & Performed by Keith Alessi, Produced & Directed by Erika Conway

Press Rep: Melissa Kennedy, melissak605@gmail.com/708.717.8707

About the Show

After a major life-changing event caused a high-flying corporate CEO to suddenly retire and reevaluate what’s important in life, a banjo-picking storyteller was created with a message of resilience, hope and perseverance. Now, he tells his inspiring story at Fringe Festivals and shows in the US, Canada and in May, the UK, at the 2019 Brighton Fringe Festival.

‘Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me, But Banjos Saved My Life,’ written and performed by Keith Alessi, is an award-winning and highly reviewed one-man show that has been touring North American since June of 2018 after it premiered in Chicago, Illinois. He tells the story of his multi-cultural boyhood, meteoric rise in the boardroom to the startling news that changed his life forever. He candidly reveals to his audience how he used that obstacle to find a new passion in music and a cathartic outlet in storytelling.

Keith Alessi - Bio

Keith Alessi - Writer and performer, Tomatoes Tried to Kill me but Banjos Saved my Life

Before taking to the stage, Keith was well known as a successful public company CEO and entrepreneur. He has led companies in both Canada and the United States.

Encouraged by others to tell his personal story of challenges and triumph, Keith wrote Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me and performed it in Chicago, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Roanoke, and Floyd, Virginia last year.

This year, the show will be performed at many Fringe Festivals. February we kicked off in New York City, following that will be Brighton, England, Orlando, Florida  and Windsor, Ontario this spring, and rounding off the summer and fall will be Regina, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Edmonton, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia.

A dual Canadian/US citizen, Keith splits his time between Vancouver, British Columbia and Roanoke, Virginia. He received his MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is currently an adjunct Professor of Law at the Washington and Lee University Law School in Lexington, Virginia. In his free time, he pursues his passions of flying and banjos!

Creative Team

Erika Conway - Producer & Director: Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life

Erika Conway, a Canadian actress, writer, and producer is no stranger to the stage. Her 25 year career has included acting in multiple roles both on stage and in film/TV including: Anne Frank: The Diary of Anne Frank, Beatrice: Much Ado About Nothing, Alma: Summer And Smoke, Mother: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Dr. Lambert: Blackstone. Most recently, she portrays Nyx in the new Canadian web series Necessary Evil which premiered at the Edmonton International Film Festival in September 2018, won Best Web Series in The Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival, and will be travelling to festivals in Houston, Sicily, and Germany this summer.

Theatre has always been Erika’s first love and although acting has been a major part of her career and life, she has been more recently honing her writing and dramaturg skills.

In 2016, Erika wrote and produced a one woman show for the Edmonton Fringe Festival called Confessions of a Middle-Aged Drama Queen and discovered how much she enjoyed the producing side which has ultimately lead her to work on Keith’s one man show Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life. 

Check Out Erika's IMDB Page

Melissa Kennedy - Marketing & PR: Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life

Melissa has been in marketing since 2003 and worked with several well-known national media companies. She started her career at CBS Radio and managed the marketing for the largest radio station in the market, WBBM-AM. In 2009, she moved to television to oversee the marketing for Weigel Broadcasting Co., which included the launch of four networks including MeTV, Decades, Heroes & Icons and Movies! Melissa co-wrote 'Randos', a TV pilot which was produced by Zacuto in 2017 and is also a front end web designer. When she's not doing work for her clients, she likes to read romance and spy novels and write funny screenplays.

2019 Tour Schedule

Fringe Festival & Performance Schedule 2019

New York FRIGID Fringe February 20-March 9

The Spot on Kirk Roanoke, Virginia April 27

Brighton Fringe May 3-6

Orlando Fringe May 15-19

Windsor-Walkerville Fringe May 22-26

Regina Fringe July 10-14

Winnipeg Fringe July 17-28

Edmonton Fringe August 15-25

Vancouver Fringe September 5-15

Click here for more details.

Past Shows & Festivals

2019

New York FRIGID Fringe February 20-March 9

The Spot on Kirk Roanoke, Virginia April 27

Brighton Fringe May 3-6

Orlando Fringe May 15-19

Windsor-Walkerville Fringe May 22-26

Regina Fringe July 10-14

Winnipeg Fringe July 17-28

2018

Chicago, Illinois June - 2018

Toronto Fringe - July 4-15, 2018

Edmonton Fringe - Aug 16-26, 2018

Vancouver Fringe - Sept 6-16, 2018

Roanoke, Virginia 2018

Floyd, Virginia 2018

Reviews

"An honest telling of one man’s journey.  Alessi’s performance manages to be warm, tear-jerking, and humorous all at once – a gem in New York City’s off-off-Broadway scene."~ The Paper (Fupaper.blog), New York City

"Keith Alessi's Italian-Canadian corporate-to-banjo story is thoroughly entertaining."~ Theatre Is Easy, New York City

“You absolutely should see this performance.  It was raw and authentic and beautiful.” ~ Vancouver Theatre Addicts, Vancouver, Canada

Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me, But Banjos Saved My Life" is a show in the true spirit of Fringe. The performance will put a smile on your face, leaving you glad and happy.”~ Sherpadoo, Vancouver, Canada

“Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life is an intimate and affecting show”~ Vancouver Presents, Vancouver, Canada

Click here for more reviews & press about the show and here for more audience feedback!

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Press Contact

Melissa Kennedy

Melissak605@gmail.com

708.717.8707

Past Press Releases
Radio Interviews