Boys and girls and mums and dads and grandparents were at Palmerston Library this morning at 11 to see The Happiest Place on Earth playing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. It’s such a lovely name for a play.
I was a bit concerned when I arrived. The board outside the library said “A village of Clowns adopts a girl.” I really don’t like clowns and wouldn’t have chosen to see The Happiest Place on Earth if the line about the clowns had been in the Fringe blurb. It was fine. There weren’t any of the kinds of clowns that I don’t like.
The story is quite interesting. Even though it’s set in a fairy-tale kind of world the characters deal with real world situations like Puppa’s inability to have a baby, Homeless Joe not having anywhere to live and Puppa and Rex adopting Josephine. Daniel Lomas and Imelda Villalon wrote the script and co-directed the show. There are lessons to be learned from the piece but they are delivered gently.
The characters range from sweet to kind of scary. Puppa is lovely, kind and generous. She and her husband Rex yearned for a child. Instead they opened a doll shop and Puppa treated the dolls like babies.
At the other end of the spectrum is Mr. Seymour who has three heads and is pretty scary to look at even though he’s very nice. The mayor looks like Humpty Dumpty. The mayor’s mother looks normal but takes one of Puppa’s dolls. Rockwoman and Starfish rap about marine biology.
It really is a delightful show. If you go I would pay attention to the suggested age of 7 and up. I think that sensitive younger children would fine some of the costumes disturbing.
- The Happiest Place on Earth is playing at Palmerston Library (560 Palmerston Ave.)
- Performance times are:
- July 08 04:30 PM
July 09 12:45 PM
July 10 02:30 PM
July 12 07:30 PM
July 13 02:30 PM
July 14 03:15 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 www.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
Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating during the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Picture of Lenny Ziolkowskij as The Mayor