Commencement: a Work of Fiction and Musical of Sorts (Rainy Day Theatre Company) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Set in the University of Toronto’s University College Junior Common Room, Commencement: a Work of Fiction and Musical of Sorts is a bring- your-own-venue show at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Maybe I am too bitter, too cynical, and way too close to the subject matter, but Rainy Day Theare’s production didn’t quite feel like it met the Honours-level that lead character Kate was bragging about graduating with.

The title of Commencement: a Work of Fiction and Musical of Sorts is a bit deceiving: it is not a “Musical of Sorts” but rather a completely traditionally musical. It even came complete with a classic musical-style magic love plot. The piece follows Kate, a recent grad who moves out of school and into the work force, where she finds love and sexism.

Commencement started out with promise, broaching the subject of mass under- and unemployment in today’s 20 somethings with humor. It was sprinkled with funny and socially relevant comments.

I feel like the issue of Millennial’s, Gen Y’ers, or Generation Screwed is constantly being pushed down my throat. When I see a play about it I am usually looking for something a bit more critical than a happy ending.

Even though Commencement was not my cup of tea, I can see a lot of people enjoying this lighthearted musical. There was a cute a cappella number about salty coffee that I quiet enjoyed. And Kate’s older sister, played by Romina Cortina, was a great guardian figure. She was rude and totally down to earth.

If you read the program and were intrigued by the description of Commencement, don’t let this bitter disillusioned recent graduate sway you.


Details

Commencement: a Work of Fiction and Musical of Sorts plays at  University College Junior Common Room. (15 King’s College Circle, near Harbord St./Hoskin Ave and St. George Street.) Be aware that there is limited street parking in the vicinity.

Show times
July 02 at 09:00 PM
July 03 at 09:00 PM
July 04 at 09:00 PM
July 05 at 09:00 PM
July 06 at 09:00 PM
July 09 at 09:00 PM
July 10 at 09:00 PM
July 11 at 09:00 PM
July 12 at 09:00 PM
July 13 at 09:00 PM

Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West). Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details.

LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS.
 To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.

 

Photo of Victoria Houser by Aviva Philipp-Muller and edited by Megan Walters

One thought on “Commencement: a Work of Fiction and Musical of Sorts (Rainy Day Theatre Company) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review”

  1. Hello? Did we see the same play? I left the theatre totally enchanted by this play. Let me iterate that I’m not a recent graduate but have worked in education for years and strongly believe that the dichotomy between hope and despair is something young graduates have faced for decades and is both universal and timeless rather than “issue of Millennial’s, Gen Y’ers, or Generation Screwed is constantly being pushed down my throat”, I am not a fan of musicals yet I completely enjoyed this one because it did not fit into the proverbial box. The cast was strong, the music and book were clever and witty, and the show was far more entertaining and polished than your average Fringe fair – not bad for such a young company. Perhaps bitter grads should not be theatre reviewers.

Comments are closed.