Genesis And Other Stories. Chaotic perfection is the only way I can describe this truly hilarious play being put on at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church by Aim for the Tangent Theatre. This play-within-a-play-within-a-church is about a man whose father dies; to honor his memory, he tries to put on a play about Adam and Eve set in Eden, USA in 1965, and oh my goodness do they ever.
Written by Rosamund Small, with a comedic nod to community and church theatre groups and directed by Vivien Endicott-Douglas, this play uses its setting, the church to its upmost comedic advantage. From its struggling use of a sticky door, to the lighting design of flicking switches, having actors both inside and out speaking through windows they really used their space fully. I was a little concerned though, a small space with no air-conditioning? Don’t worry; they take care of that with a fan and a fun little mid show treat.
Whenever I see a play I usually find one or two actors who really stand out to me, this was not the case here. Every single member of this ensemble was strong and stood their ground. Jared Bishop who plays Gavin, a recently separated man has the best comedic facial expressions I have seen in quite some time, and his belief of being invisible, among other things, had me giggling monstrously. The character Christopher, the director within the show, played by Hayden Finkelshtain, I found incredibly huggable, stealing laughs from the back of the room with his hysterical reactions when things begin to fall apart and his attempts to explain the motivation behind a certain scene.
Wesley J. Colford as Andrew, the “established actor” had me laughing to tears with his over the top portrayal of Adam in the play-within-a-play and his fight with his suit jacket is comedy gold. The two women who hold their own in this pandemonium are Tess Dingman who plays Cathy, a friend of Christopher’s who’s just doing this play-within-a-play for fun and Katie Housley as Amber, the girlfriend of Andrew who is dedicated to acting due to wanting to spend more time with her man. Dingman’s innocent and humble comedic timing is spot on as she tries to keep the show-within-a-show together. Watching Housley, with her sultry voice, go from casually dabbling in acting to full blown soliloquy spouting diva, which is proven in an intense desperate Shakespeare show down, was incredibly entertaining.
So, if you enjoy laughing to tears from both physical comedy and well-timed awkwardly funny one-liners, this is an absolute must see this year at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Genesis And Other Stories is playing at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church (427 Bloor St West).
Wed. July 3, 9:00 PM
Thurs. July 4, 9:00 PM
Fri. July 5, 9:00 PM
Sat. July 6, 9:00 PM
Sun. July 7, 8:00 PM
Tue. July 9, 9:00 PM
Wed. July 10, 9:00 PM
Thu. July 11, 9:00 PM
Fri. July 12, 9:00 PM
Sat. July 13, 9:00 PM
Sun. July 14, 8:00 PM
- Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only. Late comers will not be permitted.
- Advance tickets are $11 ($9 + $2 service charge) are available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062 ext 1, or in person during the festival at the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W).
- Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows
Photo taken by Sarah Miller-Garvin featuring Hayden Finkelshtain, Tess Dingman, Katie Housley, Wesley J. Colford and Jared Bishop.