[sic] (Theatre Best/Before from Toronto) 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

I had originally been scheduled to see [sic] Monday night, but unfortunately did not make it due to being trapped in the subway during one of the rolling blackouts. It is a shame I didn’t get to see it sooner so I could have recommended it before now, as it only has one show left. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone though: if you’re attached to realism in any way, this is not the show for you.

(Sic) is an absurdist comedy. It is noisy and fast-paced and often nonsensical. I happen to love this sort of theatre, but many do not.

Frank, Babette and Theo (Rob Bird, Sarah Dineen, Daniel Krolik) have separate units in the same building which is sketched out on the stage, along with their unseen neighbour’s apartment, in a wonderfully surreal fashion. The three are friends via a mutual friend named Larry who we also never see but who still plays an important role throughout the play.

These three friends are very involved in each others lives, to the point where it’s no longer comfortable anymore. You know that point. We’ve all been there before. But since this is not realism, these characters aren’t bound to behave the way most of us behave in that situation. What results is funny, perplexing and highlights the inherent absurdity of human interrelationships better than any other theatre genre can.

That said, the play could have used more of its end closer to its beginning. For one thing, while the circumstances of their friendship are explained in the beginning, you never get to see them actually be friendly until towards the end, when they discuss games they like to play – games like “all your teachers doubts about you came true.” This could have been played with mean intent as well, but it’s not: they truly seem to like each other at this moment. The way the script is written, a number of scenes could either be angry fighting or friendly teasing. I think the fighting and manipulation that goes on between them for most of the show would have more impact if we got a glimpse of them enjoying each other’s company earlier on.

Also, the first 45 minutes of the show are at a high frequency pitch which gets monotonous after a while. I think that a quieter moment or two in the first two thirds of the play would have helped keep me engaged. A couple of times I did find my mind wandering, which is unusual when I’m enjoying a play so thoroughly

Details

[sic] Venue 2 Tarragon Theatre Extraspace

75 min.
Wed, June 30 6:30 PM – 201
Fri, July 2 3:30 PM – 208
Sun, July 4 8:15 PM – 224
Mon, July 5 6:45 PM – 229
Wed, July 7 Noon – 238
Fri, July 9 5:15 PM – 255
Sat, July 10 10:30 PM – 265

– 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