The highlight of this show is the opening.
Scruffy, blood-crazy Jesse (Geoff Kolomayz) and self-righteous killer Hickok (Carmine Lucarelli) sit at that typical western locale, the bar. You know the one, low swinging doors, dusty glasses, and quick-talking barkeep (Alexis Budd).
Hickok cools off with a buzzing, battery-powered fan.
Hickok’s humour is the most potent, and it derives from the same theme as the anachronistic fan.
Hickok is more modern than your average cowboy. He is prone to philosophy, metaphors, and poetic monologues. Neither of which his bar-mate, Jesse, can understand. It is this out-of-place humour that makes the western play Sundance so funny.
The formula of the script is quickly introduced. Jesse, Hickok and The Kid (Jenn Dzialoszynski) are killers. Their varying reasons for killing are in turn explored.
Enter the “ultimate killer” – a monosyllabic character who gives no motive for his urge to gun down fellow characters.
The acting is solid. Of note are Hickok who delivers straight-faced comedy, and Jesse, who embodies his scruffy, crotch-scratching role whole-heartedly.
The dialogue is witty, and written by a professional who knows his trade – even if the plot is a bit stiff. Sundance appears to be written more as a theoretical, “Which western archetype would win in a fight” – than a showcase of three dimensional characters.
The costumes are beautifully broken-down and battered. Jesse’s duster and once-white shirt especially look like they’ve been run over a few times with a cement mixer. In Jesse’s case, this makes his clothes appear appropriately lived-in.
Note that the pistols used in Sundance have more punch than the average cap-gun. They are loud. You have been warned.
Sundance is 40 minutes of well-acted comedy. Although the structure of the plot is predictable, the lines themselves are funny. The show I saw was a full house. This is one of the Fringe shows not to miss. Especially if you are a fan of westerns, a fan of making fun of westerns, or simply want a few laughs.
Come see Sundance at the Tarragon Extra Space with your sixguns blazing.
- Sundance plays at Tarragon Theatre Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue)
- Showtimes are: Thurs, July 5, 11:00pm; Sat, July 7, 5:15pm; Mon, July 9, 2:45pm; Tues, July 10, 8:45pm; Wed, July 11, 4:00pm; Thurs, July 12, 7:00pm; Sat, July 14, 7:00pm
- 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 by Garth Droog