Tired Wave Stop – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Mira Saraf

The Factory Theatre on a hot day during Fringe is a refreshing change to the overbearing sun. As we settle into our seats, a man walks on stage. This is Steven Boleantu the sole performer in the show (with the exception of one female voice that comes later).

We hesitate, unsure if the show has actually begun or not as he adjusts the set and tinkers with props. But then the lights and music fade to black to signal the real beginning. When they come up again we are listening to a monologue of the Sea Captain who tells us his tale of how he came to be where he is.

He re-enacts several scenarios, playing the voices of the other characters – including ex-coworkers, and routinely converses with and cajoles his boat, The White Dove during the performance.

The set is simple, composed of the front of a boat, a mast and a steering wheel. A dead stuffed bird and a sea kelp scarf make occasional appearances and sound effects of waves crashing, bodies thumping and feet walking make up the rest of this simple piece.

The Captain is an eccentric character obsessed with his boat and the sea and we experience this through expertly written monologues and storytelling. The program notes tell us that this originally started from a character sketch. The Monkey Boy is young and slightly odd, but strives to do what his dad will not allow: reach and live on land. It is hard to tell either way with his wife, the mermaid.

The performance ran a little long, telling us the tale of these three bizarre players but is definitely one unlike any other and worth seeing. Boleantu has taken a single character and created a story around him and his quirks. It is light and fun performance that evoked more than a few bursts of laughter from the audience.

– Tired Wave Stop plays at Factory Theatre Mainspace

– The one remaining show is Sat, July 10 7:00 PM

– 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