Pineapple Club (Robin Henderson Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Perhaps you were not aware, as I was not before going to see Pineapple Club, that “comedic dance” was a thing. After Robin Henderson Company’s 2017 Toronto Fringe show, I can tell you for sure that it is, and that it’s both delightful and hilarious, and that I have almost no idea what Pineapple Club was about, and I don’t really care.

Once I let go of the idea that there might be a plot, or any kind of unifying principle beyond “these three people will do things now,” I found the show quite compelling. The sketches ranged from hilarious to quiet and serious, with a somewhat shaken-up quality that shares my mixtape values: “every time there’s a change, it should be a big change.”

The iconic Bowie track “Ground Control to Major Tom” gets both a figurative and a literal treatment (listening really, really closely to lyrics seems to be a Pineapple Club thing), as does George Michael’s song “Freedom” from the period about one nanosecond before he finally, officially, came out. The three have a nice harmony together, both as a dance trio and as a singing trio — this despite the fact that they clearly have rather different levels of training and skill, which makes it kind of fun.

Fun, overall, is the operative word here. Pineapple Club slips in some subtle thoughtfulness and brings a sweet kind of humor that’s never mean (what people sometimes describe as “clean humor,” though there are maybe a few too many instances of certain scatalogical words for that to be quite true). But I found it lovely to laugh and not be encouraged to laugh at anyone; lovely to watch the excellent choreography and giggle along and enjoy the fantastical and surreal lava-lamp stream of someone else’s totally weird and wonderful consciousness.

Details

  • Pineapple Club plays at the Factory Mainspace. (125 Bathurst St.)
  • 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: Audience Participation, Mature Language.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route.

Performances

  • Fri July 7th at 3:15pm
  • Sat July 8th at 7:30pm
  • Mon July 10th at 9:00pm
  • Tues July 11th at 1:15pm
  • Wed July 12th at 11:30pm
  • Fri July 14th at 7:30pm
  • Sun July 16th at 12:00pm

Photo of the company by Katherine Fogler.

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