William Shakespeare’s Beauty and the Beast sounds like a children’s show, but it’s not. A parody of Shakespeare’s body of work, “tales as old as time” – hence the Beauty and the Beast title reference – Matty McCready’s witty script comes alive thanks to its talented and very funny cast.
This was the first Fringe show I’ve seen with a larger cast. I enjoyed the dialogues that all these characters were able to have with one another; a nice change from the one-man-shows I had been watching all week.
The plot is basically about a Prince forced by his father to marry a crystal that is rumoured to contain a goddess in it. Robin Hood, Merlin, a slave, a traumatized mother, a spoiled prince and an in-the-closet king of a father make for quite the shenanigans.
I really liked Ken Hall, who played both Robin Hood and Merlin. His credits in the program indicate his veteran experience in comedy improv, and he will be seen soon in a CBC special feature alongside actor Martin Short. Hall’s acting caught me off guard, demanding my attention whenever he spoke.
Jesse Ryder Hughes’ as the Prince and Carmine Lucarelli’s role as the Slave were perhaps the funniest characters for me. Each experienced comedic actor’s approach to interpreting this comedy added to a diverse, fun, and punchy performance.
“Shrek for adults meets Robin Hood: Men in Tights meets Monty Python” is how I would describe the show. It’s funny, cute, has a homosexual puppet, includes Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” as a transition scene song, and even throws in a Game of Thrones joke.
Director Dan Hershfield and playwright Matt McCready did a superb job, and I would love to watch it again. The costumes and set are nice for a Fringe show. The play is a gem – as demonstrated by the large audience that joined me that afternoon.
Cast: Ken Hall, Jesse Ryder Hughes, Devon Hyland, Becky Johnson, Carmine Lucarelli, Matt McCready
Genre: Play, Comedy
Warning: Graphic Violence
Venue 10 Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace
Wed, July 6 7:00 PM 1001
Fri, July 8 1:45 PM 1007
Sat, July 9 5:45 PM 1016
Tue, July 12 10:45 PM 1038
Thu, July 14 5:15 PM 1049
Fri, July 15 8:00 PM 1057
Sat, July 16 Noon PM 1060
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.