Weaksauce (Sam S. Mulllins) is a sweet coming-of-age story about a teenage boy’s first love and though it is not in the Fringe program, it is definitely playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Sam S. Mullins is vulnerable and lovely as he tells us about the summer he turned sixteen and traveled across the country to work at a hockey camp in Guelph. At camp, he meets a charming and charismatic Brit who he hates immediately in an irrational, jealous schoolboy way.
Our storyteller also meets the girl next door, a milky brunette with whom he falls in love at first sight.
The solo show unfolds as Mullins talks about how he gets the girl, loses the girl, gets the girl back then says goodbye. Mild neuroses pepper the narrative as Mullins invites us to listen to his inner monologue during his most awkward and anxious moments of his adolescence.
The recounting of a baboon attack at the ill-reputed African Lion Safari provides the most hilarious comic relief of the performance.
Mullins’ writing is elegant, descriptive and intelligent and his storytelling is effortless. I have enjoyed his live stories before at several Raconteurs events but only at five to seven minutes apiece. It is great to see a storyteller thread his experiences together into a full-length show.
The stage is bare save for a standard black chair and Mullins relies solely on his wits to tell his story. Through accent and intonation, he brings the other two characters to life. Small lighting changes bring us from day to night and back again.
Weaksauce has all the elements of a quirky, independent feature-length film complete with angsty soundtrack, attractive young actors and surreal physical comedy scenes. Imagine a zookeeper appearing out of nowhere with cattle prod in hand to rescue a busload of children from a malnourished wild animal. Comedy gold!
While Weaksauce does not communicate or relate to the moral degenerate in me, I always applaud great writing and a performer’s openness to being vulnerable. Weaksauce is a show for optimists and for those who are romantic at heart.
- Weaksauce is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Ave.)
- Showtimes: July 4, 9:00 PM July 6, 3:15 PM July 7, 2:45 PM Monday July 8, 7:30 PM July 10, 4:45 PM July 11, 4:30PM July 12, 10:30 PM Sunday July 14th, 2:15PM
- 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
Image of Weaksauce provided by Sam S Mullins