Don’t Tell My Dad (Nefarious Projects) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

4t6a0538Don’t Tell My Dad by Nefarious Projects is a musical comedy playing for Toronto Fringe 2014. The star of the show, Chelsea Manders, stands on the stage wearing a pretty summer dress and an acoustic guitar strapped across her front. Looking at her glowing smile, I half-expect her to start a children’s sing-along.

In some ways, I was right. Manders sings a catchy tune she wrote for her princess-loving niece. Manders names real princesses in order to give the young girl some knowledge on her inspirations. The twist is, all these princesses have either been historically beheaded or have died from the “plaguey-plague”.

For an even younger audience, Manders delivers a lullaby about what babies are really thinking about. “Existential Baby” is possibly the best song you never knew you needed. Or even better, Manders reveals a story book full of the secret lives of beloved children’s characters.

In all honesty, this musical show is not meant for kids. It is full of profanity, sexuality and fantastic social satire. Manders does an excellent job at mocking herself, whether it’s by dancing awkwardly on a chair or boldly standing in her Spanx. Even though she spouts crude jokes or harsh truths, her demeanor is so naively proud. She announces to the audience that her parents raised her right, and it took a lot of effort and bad decisions to become the mess she is today.

I felt it was impossible not to be swept up by Manders’ comedic timing and infectious attitude. She is wonderfully depraved and incredibly funny. The audience laughed the whole time. If you have a sick sense of humor and a fondness for song, then check out this show. I should also add that her singing voice is fantastic.

Manders says the show is all about making bad decisions in life, but buying a ticket for it is one of the best decisions you will make during Fringe.

Don’t Tell My Dad
(Nefarious Projects) is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson avenue)

Remaining Showtimes:
July 04 at 09:15 PM
July 05 at 12:30 PM
July 07 at 06:30 PM
July 09 at 02:00 PM
July 11 at 12:30 PM
July 12 at 04:00 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.

Photograph of Chelsea Manders provided by the company.