Brother Andre’s Heart (Duchess Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

Set amidst Quebec separatists movements, and awkward coming of age, Brother Andre’s Heart examines the tale of three somewhat awkward youngsters, learning to push the boundaries of their comfort zones, and living and learning.

It is a warm funny story about a few socially challenged film makers who spend more time watching Star Trek than scriptwriting or shooting. They speak as if they were aboard the Enterprise, and everything becomes a coordinated crew based effort. By everything, I mean not much. These people can barely make it to the corner store to buy milk.

 

 

 

 

Their friend Anna comes over to talk them into joining her on this seven day pilgrimage with her grandmother. The idea of leaving the house and potentially missing the show is scary, but they manage to overcome the anxiety.

This sets events into motion that will change their lives. Two star trek nerds, a girl who fancies herself a female warrior and one feisty Grandma end up in an extroadinary situation revolving largely around the heart of a would-be saint soaked in stale formaldehyde.

The Grandmother was by far my favourite character in the show – and hilarious. Unlike what we would deem traditional, she is adventurous, and probably more daring than any of the three younger characters in the show.

The show and the characters are incredibly endearing. The audience participation is minimal, so don’t let that hold you back. There are a lot of Star Trek references, a few of which probably went over my head. But it provided a wonderful frame for the show.

Truth be told this show to me, said a great deal about getting out of your comfort zone. Often pursuing a dream and excelling (or just buying milk) is a scary thing, and it is easier to stay where it is safe.

Although this example is a little extreme, to me it seemed to say something about all of us – often it is easier to avoid your entire life by playing it safe. While this is easier in the short run, it is way worse in the long run.

Details

Brother Andre’s Heart plays at the Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue)

It plays at the following times:

Tue, July 12 1:15 PM
Fri, July 15 11:00 PM
Sun, July 17 5:15 PM

All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)

Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows