There is some very good singing in this play. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much more about it to enjoy.
I assume the performers have been trained and/or are experienced in singing. I can’t tell though, as the program has no information on them. Bewilderingly, it does list the playwright’s accomplishments as an automotive mechanic and devotes a whole page to summarizing the plot of the play itself.
I found the script to be a series of cliches awkwardly hobbled together; the dialogue as trite as the plot. At least the performer’s attempts at accents weren’t mangling otherwise decent lines.
The play is set in Northern Ireland in 1908. David Ludwig, playing the patriach, has a credible brogue. The fact that his daughter, Elizabeth, played by Iryna Sidaras, sounds Eastern European could possibly be justified by the background that she had just spent ten years in Germany – perhaps Irish overlaid with German could sound Eastern European if you stretched your mind a little.
This issue was further confused by the manservant, Conrad, played by Clemente Carillo, having an Hispanic accent. He did appear Hispanic, but the play was otherwise cast colour-blindly. Most others seemed to be attempting a brogue, which is just not that easy an accent to attain, except for the German character who had no accent at all (or rather, had a North American accent, which you would detect if you were from elsewhere.)
I won’t get into the acting itself because I don’t think you can expect anyone to make a solid performance out of what I thought was a weak script. The singing, however, was great.
– Heart Strings: The Musical plays at Venue 9 Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College Street, 3rd flr
Fri, July 15 4:30 PM 955
Sat, July 16 3:30 PM 962
– 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