Act Now! (Proper Entertainment)- 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

by Lucy Allen

There’s a limited time offer for this Toronto Fringe musical, don’t miss it!

When I told my friend I was going to see Act Now!, a musical about infomercials, his response was “How much material can you get out of an infomericial?” Enough for a Fringe show it seems, and definately enough for what amounted to be a very solid and entertaining musical.

Apologies to the actors in advance, it seems I lost my program and can’t quite remember who played which role. Act Now! is about a recent theatre graduate, wide eyed and excited for his first paying gig. Unfortunately, it’s as a demonstrator at a trade show which doesn’t seem nearly as stimulating as say, his own tv series. Little does he know that his partner Tony has a dastardly plan to make the perfect pitch by stealing other’s sale lines.

The show manages to take a seemingly simple job of a trade show demonstrator and make it a complex world unto its own. In the world of infomercials, there’s nicknames for the customers, a moral code that demonstrators must follow, and a precise formula to pitching that will make you feel like a fool for ever considering buying from an infomercial.

The catchy musical numbers have some amazing singers to perform them. I was still humming the opening songs today and I’m not one to hum anything in public. The actor playing Tony was the stand out for me with a never ending supply of energy and charisma. The rest of the cast are just as strong and were clearly enjoying themselves onstage.

If anything, Act Now! feels a bit too topical to really last more than a couple of years. There are many inside jokes and references that five years from now won’t make a whole lot of sense to audiences. But for what it is right now, Act Now! is a great night of entertainment. Did I mention it’s in the Bread and Circus, which is both air conditioned and let’s you bring drinks in? The shows seem to be selling out, so if you’d like to ensure you get to enjoy this show, well, act now!

Details:

Act Now!- Venue 22 Bread & Circus- BYOV

60 min.
Thu, July 1 8:30 PM – 2205
Fri, July 2 6:45 PM – 2208
Sat, July 3 5:00 PM – 2211
Sun, July 4 8:30 PM – 2218
Mon, July 5 5:00 PM – 2219
Tue, July 6 6:45 PM – 2224
Wed, July 7 8:30 PM – 2227
Thu, July 8 6:45 PM – 2230
Fri, July 9 5:00 PM – 2233
Sat, July 10 8:30 PM – 2239
Sun, July 11 6:45 PM – 2243
– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only), Online at www.fringetoronto.com, by Phone at 416-966-1062, in person (June 30 – July 11 only) at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 ($10+$1 convenience fee), and $5 for FringeKids (no convenience fee for kids tickets).
– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows