Everything There is to Know produced by Musicals Canada is the newest musical by playwright Aaron Jensen, playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. It’s a coming of age, adventure story about Sophie, a 10 year old girl, and the imaginative stories that we tell.
The performance has excellent production value and feels polished and professional. The cast (of only five!) play a wide range of characters: there’s Sophie (played by Quinn Dooley), her mother and a fortune-teller (both Sara Stahmer), her father and a bison (both Christopher Wilson), her loyal companion Philip the Mouse, her best friend Robin and a king (all three Devin Herbert), her camp counselor, a rooster and a queen (all three Karolina Kotus), and a chorus of pirates. And yet, the cast juggles this roster of characters exceptionally well, transitioning with ease throughout the show, and committing with focus and flair to each individual role.
Most notable of all is the musicality of the show, and the musical ability of the cast. The play is filled to the brim with great musical numbers, that are uplifting, often witty, and wonderfully performed by this team of musical theatre rockstars.
Their voices filled the theatre with a luminosity that stayed with me hours later. For context, I arrived at this show quite drenched from a torrential down-pouring of rain. I sincerely forgot about my cold-and-wet discomfort watching their song-and-dance numbers.
In addition to excellent song-and-dance, the play packs an emotional punch. It grapples with the struggles that arise in child-parent relationships, and the growing pains that come with growing up. In this way, Sophie seemed to me like a modern-day Dorthy, and her loyal companion Philip the Mouse reminded me of Toto (if Toto could sing and dance!).
Everything There is to Know is a heart-warming show, and a great piece for families and people of all ages. It’s lively, funny, moving and reflective, and most of all, majestically musical.
- Everything There is to Know plays at the Randolph Theatre. (736 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.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route. We recommend checking in with the venue box office at least 20 minutes before showtime.
- Friday July 7th, 07:00 pm
- Saturday July 8th, 11:00 pm
- Sunday July 9th, 04:45 pm
- Tuesday July 11th, 06:45 pm
- Wednesday July 12th, 10:30 pm
- Friday July 14th, 12:00 pm
- Saturday July 15th, 03:30 pm
Photo by artist/designer Marne Grahlman