Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal (Josie’s Pussy Cats) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Graphic for Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal

Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal (produced by Josie’s Pussy Cats) is a cool, sleek new musical that follows the lives of the famous pop artist’s many muses from Brigid Berlin to Edie Sedgwick.

The opening number of Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal evokes memories of ensemble musicals like A Chorus Line, where those in the “background” finally get their time in the spotlight.

The cast had a sassiness that I immediately loved. Each member totally played into the whole “fame hungry New Yorker” game. I sincerely believed that these people were plucked off the streets of 1960’s New York.

Although everyone had something special to offer the show, Chase Winnicky who plays “Candy Darling” really grabbed my attention with his blissful ballad on his struggles with gender. His falsetto was delightful. Clear and crisp.

Devin Chin-Cheong and Sara Hinding also impressed with their dance solos. Their movement was athletic and powerful as they danced through their characters’ darkest hours.

Speaking of dancing…the choreography was awesome and probably (in my opinion) the strongest element in the show. It was original, dynamic and of a professional caliber. There were big moments, like a leap across the stage and then there were small moments, like a soft, Fosse-esque hand gesture during an intimate monologue. The choreography was slinky, sexy and just so…cool.

The music was commendable. I found every song to be original and unique. The orchestration was also very interesting. I would describe the sound of the music as synth-pop meets Broadway. Unlike anything I’ve heard before.

Some songs really nailed it lyrically, especially the more abstract, pop-style songs that were usually sung by a character off to the side while another character danced. Other songs, though musically interesting, involved some lyrics that made me wrinkle my nose a bit and it was usually the more “musical theatre” style songs that did that. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t still tapping my foot!

So I enjoyed some individual elements of Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal  however, there was just one thing missing…a plot line to follow.

Unlike other ensemble musicals like A Chorus Line and even Canada’s own Come From Away, there was no “big event” to look forward to as an audience member. There was nothing that tied all these people together and the show ended the same way it began. Nothing really changed that much which ended up being the slightly disappointing part of this otherwise entertaining musical.

So although Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal didn’t give me the high-stakes story I look for in a musical, it still featured some stunning dance and vocal performances. Check it out at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival!

Details

  • Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehersal plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. (16 Ryerson Ave.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Mature language; Sexual content; Gunshots.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in the very front row.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Wednesday July 4th, 7:00 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 5:45 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 12:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 6:15 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 11:30 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 1:45 pm
  • Saturday July 14th, 9:15 pm

Photo provided by the company

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