At the Toronto Fringe Festival as part of FringeKids!, Elly’s Emotions, playing at the Palmerston Library, is a high-energy must-see musical produced by Daley Productions. It speaks to today’s kids for whom video games replace make-believe games, and being a creative, non-consuming daydreamer can make a child “weird”.
Written by Johnson & Johnston, the play is about how Elly (Torri Webster) struggles to keep her friends who no longer appreciate her lack of “stuff.” Her former pals are drawn to the kid with the Wii. Now who will come to her birthday party when there won’t even be a bouncy castle?
Through well-executed song and dance, we learn that the French-speaking toy dinosaur (Merik Williams) is pushing Elly to “steal ze Wii” that has taken her friends away. This particular song was my favourite: I loved the French accent, the revolutionary spirit, and the lyrics that played on the “wee” sound (Wii, oui.)
My young Fringe buddy enjoyed a different song the most (while all the songs were excellent). Elly’s big brother Henry (Matt O’Connor) sings, “You’ve got to do the things you like to do,” and “Why would you want to be normal anyway?” when Elly wonders if she should stop being so different. Refreshing for a kid to hear!
In the end, Elly’s birthday party does take place. Her yoga-loving mom (Barbara Johnston) can serve her weirdo lentil soup, and fun can be had by turning a cardboard box into a spaceship. Her “normal” friend Madison (Naomi Krajden) doesn’t even mind!
The live music played by Anika Johnson, ranging from pensive and disappointed to energizing and joyful, made Elly’s Emotions even more entertaining. My Fringe companion was literally on the edge of his seat for almost every number!
Don’t let the amateur poster or the boring title and play description fool you. Elly’s Emotions is so in sync and fun to watch that you’d think the company had been in business for years. I can’t believe that this is Daley Productions’ first show! I’ve seen three FringeKids! shows so far, and this is the one I recommend the most.
Elly’s Emotions plays at the Palmerston Library. (560 Palmerston Ave., near Bathurst and Bloor)
July 04 at 01:30 PM
July 05 at 05:15 PM
July 07 at 02:30 PM
July 08 at 06:45 PM
July 09 at 11:30 AM
July 10 at 02:00 PM
July 11 at 02:30 PM
July 13 at 06:15 PM
Tickets for FringeKids! productions are $10 for adults, $5 for those 12 or younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash-only), or can be purchased in advance for a $2 service charge either 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.
Image provided by the company