Can You Believe? (Free-Range Aristophanes) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

Can You Believe? is a highly inventive play performed by passionate people. It’s true that getting to the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse is a bit of a walk.

However, it’s a very satisfying, pleasant walk through the tree-lined garden that is St. George Street. Knowing that the walk leads to a truly fine theatre and the play is very likely going to be a lot of fun is a treat. It’s the sort of stroll that makes any sensible person happy to be alive. As good as the walk is, the play is better.

Can You Believe? combines a lot of things that I enjoy. It is intelligent and fun. It pokes a lot of fun at religion. It especially pokes fun at those who profit from scaring people with ridiculous predictions of the end of time.

The audience is treated to a taping of a television show hosted by Ken Spekel (Julian Munds). Ken’s guest is a man called John (Adam Cresswell) who claims to have written the Book of Revelation.

Special guests on the Can You Believe It? television program are employees of John’s. They are the four horsemen of the apocalypse and they are played by Bill Dupuis, Brenna Stewart, Laura Ann Lucci and Kathryn Alexandre . All four are great together and individually.

All the actors in Can You Believe? impressed me. I like it when I don’t “see” the acting. Alf the Techie (Matthew Gin) and Angel (Sheelagh Daly) contributed to the synergy onstage.

Playwright Roger Beck and director Nora Williams have done a wonderful job turning a fun and thoughtful concept into a winning play for an approving audience.

I’d love to see this play again. Check it out if you can!

Details:

Can You Believe? is playing at Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, located at 79 St. George Street (on the East side), South of Harbord. The Theatre is on the 2nd floor and is wheel chair accessible.
40 min.

Fri, July 8 5:15 PM
Sat, July 9 7:30 PM
Sun, July 10 3:15 PM
Tue, July 12 3:00 PM
Wed, July 13 9:15 PM
Thu, July 14 12:15 PM
Sat, July 16 11:00 PM

– Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only.
– Latecomers will not be permitted.
– Tickets are also available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062 or in person at The Fringe Tent (behind Honest Ed’s). Advance tickets are $11 – $10 + $1 convenience fee.
Money saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.

Photo of The Four Horsemen and Alf the Techie

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