Phone Whore (Cameryn Moore) 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Megan Mooney

I don’t usually outline the premise of a show in my reviews, I figure this is the Internet, you can all find out what the plot of the show, and want to know about the specific production. With Cameryn Moore’s Phone Whore though, I think some context plot-wise will be useful, because it’s a fantastic show, but you probably should know a bit about what you’re letting yourself in for.

Basically, we spend the evening in Larissa’s (played by Moore) apartment in this kind of ‘day-in-the-life’ look at the phone-sex worker part of her life. She tells us stories, but is interrupted by having to take calls. During the calls steel yourself, at first it’s a reasonably ‘expected’ scenario, which was a bit awkward for me since it felt like such an intimate experience, shared with a bunch of strangers. For that reason, I recommend you don’t go see this with a parent or sibling. There’s a damn good chance you’ll find yourself aroused by that first call, and, well, I can’t imagine anything much more awkward than seeing that with my mum.

As the show progresses the calls become more uncomfortable, more surprising. It’s not easy to watch, but it’s fascinating. After the second last call I found myself weeping quietly because of the care in Larissa’s voice, and the emotional pain I imagined from the unheard voice she was responding to.

At one point in the show Larissa says something about her “pervs”. When she says “my pervs” I feel a lot of care for these people. This is a woman who is not judging them, and, although they may not know each other, it feels like she cares about them on some level. Who knows whether or not she does, but all that matters is that to her callers, it feels like she does, it feels like an honest emotion.

Larissa said “I feel safe in my perviness” and I found myself feeling proud of the woman on stage. Proud of her ability to own her perversions without judgement. That takes a bloody strong person, and is exactly why she is so good at what she does.

There wasn’t a moment when I felt like I was watching a character on stage, not even during the phone calls. That’s pretty hard to pull off, and I was all kinds of impressed. The fact that the show is full of ‘make you think’ subject matter, along with a healthy dose of ‘make you laugh’ things, it was the perfect mix for me.

Phone Whore is fantastic. It’s worth feeling awkward to go see this show. In fact, maybe feeling awkward is an integral part of the experience of this show. I expect this one will be selling out, so if you might want to get advance tickets if there are any left. If there aren’t, don’t panic, only 50% of the tickets are sold in advance, just show up an hour before show time and buy your ticket as soon as the ‘at the door’ ones go on sale.

Oh, and, I’m sure this is obvious, but, this is not at all in any way child appropriate.

Details:

The Phone Whore – Venue 5 Annex Theatre

55 min.
Fri, July 2 5:15 PM – 509
Sun, July 4 1:15 PM – 520
Mon, July 5 8:30 PM – 530
Wed, July 7 3:30 PM – 540
Thu, July 8 11:00 PM – 551
Fri, July 9 4:00 PM – 554
Sat, July 10 5:45 PM – 562

– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by Phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 ($10+$1 convenience fee)

– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows