Oh (It Is Love) (Desk Rabbit) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Adam Collier

A company called Desk Rabbit is mounting a show at the Bathurst Street Theatre. The show – Oh (It Is Love) – runs as part of Fringe.

On the night I went (Tuesday) there was a raucous crowd. A group had taken over the balcony and was shouting at friends sitting in the front row before the performance began.

Were it not for the audience – responsive not so much to the jokes but to the quirks and nuances of the acting – the writing in Oh (It Is Love) might have been more of an obstacle to enjoying the show.

The writing isn’t unfunny per se. It just struck me as shallow humor. One character for example has a penchant to quote from pop songs at (what might otherwise be) emotionally poignant moments. Another uses anachronisms like “jeepers” and “what in the Sam Hill” to express excitement.

On a similar note, the feuds between one of the romantic couples in the play seem surface. And this doesn’t make them implausible or unrealistic per se. (People do bicker over stupid things.) But the disagreements struck me as so vapid and yet so passionately angry that I couldn’t understand why the couple was a couple.

Oh (It Is Love) does have a clever plot though. Credit for that belong to the writer Nadia Duellet.

In the role of director too, Ms Duellet shows a considerable talent. Oh (It Is Love) is fully of physical gags and unabashedly cheesy moments (like the set change put to music from “The Price Is Right”) that I enjoyed.

Oh (It Is Love) also has a jaw-dropping tango. (I wish I could credit the dancers – they’re excellent – but Oh (It Is Love) has no program.)

Outside the venue, before the performance I asked a few people what they had heard about the show. Everyone told me negative things. After seeing Oh (It Is Love) I would strongly disagree that it deserves them. Oh (It Is Love) offers a good plot, good directing and good performers.

Details

Oh (It Is Love) runs at the Bathurst Street Theatre