Tonight’s Cancelled (CoWorkers) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

In Tonight’s Cancelled, two friends and comedy rockstars have stitched together a Second City-style revue. The totally-accidental gimmick is that, by drawing from their own lives and experiences, they’ve produced something that takes off in an unusual direction.

As with the Second City itself, Fringe Festival sketch troupes tend to skew young. Like, under-25 young. I say this with affection, but both of the people behind Tonight’s Cancelled are a little over that age limit, in the awkward place where they’re neither Young Edgy Emergent Comedians nor totally comfortable and at ease as adults. That zone becomes their sandbox, and the stories which emerge become sketches you genuinely won’t see anywhere else.

I loved the sketches about intersectionality and parenting, about sex with the lights off, about Jeffrey Tambour, and about what exactly it means to be a comedy rockstar in Canada. (Spoiler: not much.)

I loved the chemistry and ease the two co-creators and performers have: Jason DeRosse and Stacey McGunnigle trade focus perfectly, each getting a chance to show their strongest features — and each getting just the right boost from the other to do so.

I loved the callbacks, I loved the throughlines, and I loved the attempts to fuck each other’s shit up by freelancing and trying to make each other laugh.

Most of all, though, I loved the vulnerability that McGunnigle and DeRosse bring into the room with them. Sketch shows tend to push the real world away, but while this one’s as absurd as any other, they took some very real risks in putting this one together. Each and every one of these risks pays off.

Details

  • Tonight’s Cancelled plays at the Annex Theatre. (736 Bathurst St)
  • Tickets are $10 at the door, $12 in advance. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased 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.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible provided you arrive early (at least ~20 minutes) and notify the House Manager you require an accessible route.

Performances

  • Saturday July 2nd, 04:00 pm
  • Monday July 4th, 07:15 pm
  • Tuesday July 5th, 09:45 pm
  • Wednesday July 6th, 01:45 pm
  • Friday July 8th, 12:00 pm
  • Saturday July 9th, 05:45 pm

Photograph of (L->R) Stacey McGunnigle and Jason DeRosse provided by the company.

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