I’m a bit of a nut about Greek mythology and, like many people who have spent more than a few minutes on the internet, I’ve been unable to escape the gong show that is the US Presidential Election. In Gods We Trust from The Lactors’ Studio combines those two things into a piece of satire that I figured would be right up my alley and a solid addition to 2016’s Toronto Fringe Festival.
Here’s the thing about political satire, especially in election years: There’s a lot of it. From The Daily Show to Full Frontal to even South Park there’s a lot of people making fun of the current political climate. When someone decides to cast their own comedic eye upon the events down south they need to make sure they’re saying something unique or at least bringing a fresh perspective to the table, otherwise they get lost in the shuffle.
In Gods We Trust starts with a promising concept; the Olympian Gods, having moved to the states in order to facilitate a new empire and regain their lost glory, find themselves forced to make a decision on the 2016 Presidential Election before things get out of hand and they have another Trojan War (and nobody wants another Trojan War!)
Sadly that starting premise is pretty much all In Gods We Trust has. There’s no doubt it’s fun to watch the Greek deities squabbling on modern affairs and paralleling them to Greek history and mythology, but they could only reference the Trojan War so many times before I got tired of the joke. When not directly alluding to the ancient world the writers went for well trod ground and couldn’t really escape what felt like the humour level of Internet memes.
I’ll admit I feel bad about disliking the show as much as I did; I’m a big fan of the Lactors’ Studio as their entire mandate is as a charitable organization; all of the profits from this show go to the Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program and I’m a big supporter of art as a way to help others. Unfortunately good intentions can’t make up for quality and I just can’t bring myself to recommend this show on those merits alone.
- In Gods We Trust plays at the Al Green Theatre. (750 Spadina Ave)
- 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 latecomers are never admitted.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible. Use the elevator at the Spadina entrance.
- Friday July 1st, 03:00 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 08:45 pm
- Sunday July 3rd, 06:45 pm
- Tuesday July 5th, 08:45 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 01:45 pm
- Friday July 8th, 11:30 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 04:00 pm
Photo of Melanie Herbin, Brent Vickar, Kerri Salata and Peter Hamiwka courtesy of Jason Crowtz