Water Wonders (Wunder Kid Productions) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

 

Chase Jeffels, playing Richard the boy, and Brenda Kamino, playing Alice Friedenhammer.

From the very beginning, I was able to feel a connection with nature. Walking into the courtyard with the sun setting behind the church and listening to the birds chirping in the background are some of the reasons why Water Wonders (Wunder Kid Productions) is a rustic and charming site-specific show. Performing at the garden courtyard of St.George the Martyr Church (205 John Street), Water Wonders is part of the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival.

The story follows Richard (played by Chase Jeffels), an energetic and lovable boy trying to save the local forest from being replaced by a water plant. His eagerness to build friendships brings him closer to the forest and its essence. As he joins forces to promote change, he interacts with diverse characters that add nuggets of information as his journey continues. His perseverance is evident as he explains to his sister, friend and even town mayor the irreversible damage the water plant will cause.

Even though some scenes felt long and at times wordy, there were transitions that added a unique element of entertainment. As the actors moved around a blue fabric (that represented the river) they also guided the audience into different scene locations. This allowed my imagination to wander and create the atmospheres of said places. With that and some audience interaction, I felt that I had become part of a socially-conscious fable.

Despite some queuing issues, the entire cast contributed to what was a youthful performance. For me however, Chase Jeffels’s performance stood out. His dynamic and authentic acting led the play in a very organic way.

By incorporating clever and quite interesting fundamentals of Economics and Geology, the show reminded me of the reality of this situation. On the other hand, some of these concepts could potentially lose the attention of some of the younger attendees.

Perhaps not every audience member will become a climate change activist after watching this show, but I am sure they will have a new respect for their natural surroundings. For me, this story highlighted the importance and satisfaction that comes from being outdoors.

Details

  • Water Wonders is a site-specific show performing at the garden courtyard of St.George the Martyr Church (205 John Street)
  • 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 late comers are never admitted.

Content Warnings: Water Wonders is appropriate for ages 8 and up. In case of rain, the show will perform in the sanctuary at St. George the Martyr Church.

 

Performances

  • Thursday June 30th, 07:00 pm
  • Saturday July 2nd, 04:00 pm & 07:00 pm
  • Sunday July 3rd, 04:00 pm & 07:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 5th, 07:00 pm
  • Thursday July 7th, 07:00 pm
  • Friday July 8th, 07:00 pm
  • Saturday July 9th, 04:00 pm & 07:00 pm
  • Sunday July 10th 04:00 pm & 07:00 pm

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Littlejohn.
In Photo: Chase Jeffels (left), playing Richard the boy, and Brenda Kamino, playing Alice Friedenhammer.