How do I know this even though the Festival has just begun? Because it was a one-of-a-kind experience that I will be thinking about for a long time.
For the Record did not take place in a theatre, but rather in Kops Records on Bloor Street. It actually began in the garage in the back of the store, which has walls plastered with the most interesting and kitsch-y album covers I have ever seen. Of course, an album was being played in one corner while the actors said their first few lines. The audience was then led into one of the coolest record stores I have ever seen. The place is roomy and yet has a very intimate feel to it. It basically consists of two large aisles with the records going down the middle of the store. This way you can see all your fellow shoppers (or audience members, in this case) and the entire store at the same time – a perfect setting for a live performance.
The show itself was about main character and narrator Shari’s reflections about her own youth and her relationship to her tough-talking and often absent mother, as well as her experiences with her seventeen-year-old daughter Lucy.
The story is, of course, told with the help of a lot of music. Significant moments throughout the characters’ lives were closely linked to which songs they were listening to at the time. The lyrics and mood of the music only made the often-hilarious stories that much more memorable and poignant.
The actors often spoke directly to the audience in a way that made all of us feel that we really were going on this journey with them, through music and memory. This along with the unique, intimate setting and, of course, the wonderful music, all worked together to create a truly unforgettable theatrical experience.
- For the Record plays at Kops Records. (592 Bloor St. W.)
- Tickets are $12 at the door and in advance, and can be bought online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Content Warning: Mature Language.
- Thursday June 30th, 09:00 pm
- Friday July 1st, 09:00 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 09:00 pm
- Sunday July 3rd, 07:00 pm
- Tuesday July 5th, 09:00 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 09:00 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 09:00 pm
- Friday July 8th, 09:00 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 09:00 pm
- Sunday July 10th, 07:00 pm
Photo provided by the company.