A Peter N’ Chris-tmas Carol (Peter N’ Chris) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson by Shimon Karmel

Twas the first night of Fringe Fest and no-one could grouse
Because Peter N’ Chris had a pretty full house
A Peter N’ Chris-tmas Carol was their show
As they turned off the ghost light and let magic grow

The premise, as always, is largely the same
The two boys cause a rift, and to fill it’s their game
The theatre sprites make Christmas come to July
Which they sprinkle with winks that are totally sly

The physical comedy, timed with good care,
Ably aided by Tarragon’s blast of cold air,
Gives these Fringe kings a tale that is second to none
It may not make much sense, but it’s wicked good fun.

In it, Chris is our Scrooge (Dickens-style, or McDuck)
Since he spent money poorly, he’s down on his luck
He’s no present for Peter, a permanent sneer
Which contrasts sharply with Peter’s holiday cheer

With a headache, Chris protests his friend’s Christmas lore
And his pronunciations of “cocoa” and “o’er”
He leaves his poor chum in the snow ‘side the sleigh
As he angrily turns and he jingles away

Peter finds as he’s left in the cold snowy night
His obsession with Christmas might not be all right
And it turns out, with ghosts, four times may be the charm
As they come and haunt Chris to his growing alarm
(The ghosts are each comically so well-defined
That the audience joins Chris in losing its mind).

They play off the tropes that are so fully known
With a reference to Die Hard and to Home Alone
The Ghost of the Present makes fun of the stage
While a Christmas-high Peter tears off in a rage

It gets meta – is this just another cash grab?
Does that make it like Christmas? (Satirical jab!)
And, okay, their techniques aren’t totally new
But there’s things to be said for the tried and the true.

Oh, speaking of meta, these two aren’t afraid
To go into the audience, seeking its aid
(If you’re fearful of this, simply choose not the aisle
For in locating victims, this seems quite their style.)

With slow-motion fighting and huge candy canes
Some inventive small moments still tickle our brains
And I know to believe this might be pretty hard
But huge laughs come from a Shopper’s Optimum Card!

Tinsel sparkles can double as magic or blood
It’s all down to a science, there’s rarely a dud
(When a moment goes wrong, that’s the very best part
As they’ve turned the recovery into an art)

In the end, you will probably laugh from your belly
And the ones without tickets will likely be jelly
Bless you, Peter N’ Chris, for your constant delight
Merry Chris-tmas to all, and we’re done for the night.

Details

  • A Peter N’ Chris-tmas Carol plays at the Tarragon Mainspace. (30 Bridgman Ave.)
  • Tickets are $12. 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 Scadding Court, 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.
  • Content Warnings: Gunshots, Audience Participation, Mature Language.
  • This venue is barrier-free. The designated accessible seating is in the middle of the auditorium.

Performances

  • Wednesday July 5th, 10:45 pm
  • Saturday July 8th, 08:45 pm
  • Monday July 10th, 10:15 pm
  • Wednesday July 12th, 01:45 pm
  • Thursday July 13th, 12:00 pm
  • Friday July 14th, 07:45 pm
  • Sunday July 16th, 04:00 pm

Photo of Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson by Shimon Karmel

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