Everything I Never Knew I Wanted is the perfect show to see if you’re tired of figuring out your mess of a life, and feel like laughing at someone else’s misfortune for a while.
Or maybe I should say “laughing with,” because show creator and performer Stacey Bernstein is pretty game to open up her life in this largely autobiographical play. Structured as a sort of investigative news story, Bernstein takes us through the comedies and comic tragedies of her love life and work life (I believe at one point she had a job as the face on a TV dinner?).
Bernstein plays all 21 characters in the show, which has her running around the stage changing costumes and voices for the play’s full 75 minutes. Her energy is impressive, as is her dedication to the material, i.e. her life. She has pretty good timing and knows how to deliver a punch line, as evidenced by the audience on opening night, who were laughing so much they were almost giddy. (Mind you, they could have been giddy from this heat, but I think it was far more likely they were enjoying the show.)
Everything I Never Knew I Wanted covers some pretty well-worn theatrical ground in asking that old question: “Why can’t I have it all?” But Bernstein’s own take on it still makes for a funny and engaging story. I did like the show’s final message that if you don‘t think you have it all, maybe your idea of having it all should change.
If nothing else, go see it to witness a grown woman dressed as a killer whale spirit guide. Speaking of which, where’s my killer whale spirit guide?
– Everything I Never Knew I Wanted plays at Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Avenue.
– Show times: July 04 06:30 PM, July 06 03:30 PM, July 08 08:15 PM, July 09 06:45 PM, July 11 12:00 PM, July 13 05:15 PM. July 14 10:30 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 – $9 + $2 service charge)
– Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows
Photo of Stacey Bernstein