by George Perry
Improv is alive and well at Toronto Fringe
The Making Of is a fantastic play being staged at Theatre Passe Murail. It’s part of Fringe Toronto, and it hijacks the word “synergy”. It brings the word back from a garbage truck travelling west on the 401, dumping it at Queen and Bathurst. In other words, there’s a new comedy troupe in Toronto, and this is it.
This is what Saturday Night Live should be. This is what SCTV was in its prime. Seeing these six people on stage together is like licking a cool ice cream cone on a 35 degree day. All of the people onstage are caricatures of people we all know, people we all love to hate, or love to love.
There’s chemistry aplenty. There is a sense of realism that shines through during the performance. Everyone onstage is authentic. The rich slut, the stoned and clueless manager, the office pool, the office romances, it is all there. And it is all hilarious.
The thing that makes this play work is the care and interaction of everyone involved. They poke fun at corporate life with wit so sharp it almost hurts to look at.
What makes it work is the preparation. Everyone onstage contributed. They rehearsed together and improvised, writing the play with little more than a fortune cookie worth of guidance to go forward with.
Another great thing about this production is their use of different media. Videos play on a screen at the back of the stage. The actors use two old mediums and create their own workspace. Otherwise, they all occupy a large table centre stage.
It’s television, it’s the internet, it’s synergy between old media and new. Technically, it is a challenge but it comes across without a hitch.
If you hear the song of this truck rolling into your neighbourhood this summer, run outside and take advantage. I’m not sure what these folks have planned for the future, but we very well may be watching the next Kids In The Hall.
I’m making plans to see this again. You should log off your phone, log off your computer and tell your boss you have a dentist appointment. Update your calendar, you need to see this play!
Fri, July 2 7:00 PM – 1010
Sat, July 3 Noon – 1013
Mon, July 5 3:15 PM – 1028
Wed, July 7 7:45 PM – 1043
Fri, July 9 11:30 PM – 1059
Sat, July 10 Noon – 1060
Sun, July 11 2:45 PM – 1068