With the intensity of a very talented cast and a perfectly suited venue, Echoes – A New Musical (Chaos and Light) powerfully brings to life melodies of love, hope and despair in times of war. Playing at the Jeanne Lamon Hall inside the Trinity-St Paul’s United Church (427 Bloor St. West), this is a must-see show at the Toronto Fringe Festival 2016.
The show flows very nicely as each character takes center-stage to reveal the nature of how war has affected their life. Through solos, duets and ensemble numbers, this new musical gave me all the feels. Many over-arching themes of war and its effect on families and relationships are present in the three different acts.
For me, the music is the star of the show. It is touching, powerful and memorable. Besides being mesmerized by the echoing voices travelling through the venue, I left the theatre humming their final hymn. From the acting to the singing style, this show is very musical theatre-like. However, the plot development is not. I felt that there was a lack of variety in the musical numbers. So, due to it’s structure, I would consider this more of a revue or workshop of a musical.
At times, the similarity between the songs made me feel like I was watching the tragic moments of Miss Saigon over and over again. Just when I felt I needed a breeze of happy thoughts, I was promptly dragged back into the somber lyrics of the show. This, however, was very enjoyable thanks to the astonishing voices and authentic performances.
I would say this is a different take on the classic musical. Echoes – A New Musical presents a unique exploration of sadness and heart-aching through the human conflict that is war. This, very promising and well-developed piece is suitable for all ages and something you do not want to miss!
Note: Since the show is structured in a unique way, I would recommend looking at the act breakdown (at the back of the program), prior to the show, in order to follow the time-periods accordingly.
- Echoes – A New Musical is a site-specific show performing at the Jeanne Lamon Hall inside the Trinity-St Paul’s United Church (427 Bloor St. West)
- Tickets are $12 at the door and in advance, and can be bought online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that late comers are never admitted.
- Wednesday June 29th at 8:00 PM
- Thursday June 30th, 08:00 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 08:00 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 08:00 pm
- Friday July 8th, 08:00 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 08:00 pm
Photo Credit: Ryan Reaney
In Photo: Nickeshia Garrick, Millie Davis, Hart Massey, Christopher Sawchyn and Kevin Wong.