Making Love With Espresso (Kith as Kin) 2013 Toronto Fringe Review

Making Love With Espresso

Lorenzo Pagnotta’s Making Love With Espresso is a solo piece about being Italian and being gay and reconciling the two. Pagnotta wrote and performed the piece and Tony Babcock directed.

His story is interesting. He grew up in Edmonton in a large traditional Italian family. Not a lot of role models for a gay kid.

Usually I enjoy solo shows but I just couldn’t connect with this one. Pagnotta is Italian and gay so I assumed the piece would be autobiographical. I read somewhere that it was partly autobiographical. Maybe that was part of my problem. I just didn’t feel the passion that I would expect from an autobiographical piece.

It felt as if Pagnotta was working from a memorized script. I know that’s what happens in theatre but when someone is basically telling a story I want it to sound conversational, intimate. He stumbled over the word a couple of times which added to the lack of passion.

There are five or six other characters in the show and Pagnotta plays them all. My favourite was when he was having a conversation with his Egyptian lover. It flowed seemlessly. He did the two voices and the accent well.

The other character I liked was a woman – she seemed middle aged – talking about the effect of technology and the internet on our lives and relationships. I would guess that this is one of the non-autobiographical parts of the piece. As much as I liked the character it felt as if she was in the wrong play. It was as if Pagnotta had a message about technology and its effect on our lives and decided to include it.

To me it just didn’t fit. There was stuff in the show about meeting people online but it seemed incidental. A lot of people meet online and try to make connections online.

I really wanted to like the show and was disappointed that I didn’t.


  • Making Love With Espresso is playing at Robert Gill Theatre (214 College St., 3rd floor)
  • Performances are:
  • July 07 02:15 PM
  • July 10 07:45 PM
  • July 11 03:30 PM
  • July 13 03:30 PM
  • July 14 01:00 PM
  • All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only) and go on sale one hour before showtime. 50% of tickets are available in advance and are $11 ($9 + $2 service charge), these can be purchased online at, 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

Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating during the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Photo of Lorenzo Pagnotta by Dahlia Katz

One thought on “Making Love With Espresso (Kith as Kin) 2013 Toronto Fringe Review”

  1. I thought this show was just okay. I do admire how Pagnotta was able to carry a full hour of dialogue in various characters and different accents, however something was missing which I can’t put my finger on. I think he has lots of potential and his use of props was very good. Unfortunately the theatre was less than half full so maybe lack of audience energy had something to do with it.

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