At this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, Mooney on Theatre has 17 writers covering all 145 shows. Instead of posting our regular “Caught Our Eye” playlistings, we’ve asked a few of our Fringe writers to talk about their favourite show so far and why they enjoyed it. Hopefully their picks can help you navigate the festival better.
Dana Lacey: In an imaginary world where the Princess is always in another castle, three gamer friends embark on a campy and hilariously lyrical journey to conquer the evil Player_1. I loved Videogames: The Musical because it refuses to take itself (or the gamer elite) seriously. Whether you prefer fighting, role playing or first person shooters, this is the play for you.
Nadaa Hyder: Over saturation is an interesting issue that affects us all daily in unsuspecting ways. Nadaa Hyder loved Everything in Moderation because it provides insight via a beautiful yet unique contemporary dance performance to the sound of mainstream popular music. This show is perfect for young adults who are looking to enjoy an interesting and fun show.
Heather Bellingham: loved The Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party A-Go-Go! as it is a perfect homage to the beach party films of the 1960s. There is plenty of songs, dancing, silliness and bikinis to go around. It’s refreshing to see a show that’s just plain fun!
George Perry: loved The Man On My Face. He loved the acting, witing, comedy, musical-stylings and venue. It’s kind of guerrilla theatre, but the creators are immensely talented. George is still trying to wipe the smile off of his face after seeing The Man On My Face.
Tiffany Budhyanto: loved When Harry Met Harry. This one-man show was endearing, funny and insightful. She has confidence that it will be a show anyone can relate to. It will be tough to beat as her favourite this year.
Lucy Eveleigh: loved The Paperbag Queen Perfoms the List of Things because it was the perfect fringe show. A little off the wall and a nice escape into a world of personal revelations, funny anecdotes and beautiful singing. It’s a one woman show with a difference because the Paperbag Queen really invites you into her country and even those who might be a little shy will feel safe enough to venture into her land.
Wayne Leung: would like to add his voice to the chorus of raves for Kim’s Convenience. The show alternately made him laugh out loud and choke back tears as it was so true to his own experience growing up as the child of first generation immigrant parents who owned a small business. It also explores the broader themes of loss of identity in a rapidly changing urban landscape. The writing is layered and nuanced capturing the characters’ experiences in the manner of Tennessee Williams, the performances are also superb.
Megan Mooney: Of the shows she’s seen so far, Megan Mooney really enjoyed So I Married a Muslim. She found it a light funny approachable piece. She said it was a lovely way to spend an hour, hearing about two people across the globe from each other falling in love, and their journey to integrate that with their families. Her only word of warning is that one should not really believe the Fringe program listing that tells people that the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace is air conditioned. Dress in light clothing, and bring something to fan yourself with. So I Married a Muslim is not the show to go get a nice cool escape, but it’s certainly worth the heat.
Sonia Borkar: loved Awake as it is a true story that deals with real issues within a Toronto community that has been condemned due to it’s socio-economic problems. It’s a journey through the lives of the victims that have died in acts related to senseless gang violence that will touch your heart and change the way you view gang violence in general. Don’t worry it’s not depressing; the music lightens the mood and by the end it feels like a celebration of life.
Winston Soon: highly encourages everyone to check out Desperate Church Wives. It is why the Fringe was created. Simple, site specific, no lights, just great acting. The scene where Diane Johnstone plays with her ear wax while stripping is worth the price of admission alone.
S Bear Bergman: liked The LOVE Octagon so much the first time, he paid cash to go see it again – a different show every time! Like magic. Dirty, hilarious magic.