We The Men, produced by SOULO Theatre, is playing at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival. This comedic piece features eight actresses playing men, each with their very own story of heart break or tragedy to tell. Do you dare venture into the man cave?
Into the man cave I went on opening night of We The Men at The Cadillac Lounge. This site-specific venue was perfectly chosen as it truly felt as though the audience and the actors were packed into a cabin together. With a little more air conditioning and a little less noise bleed from the bar in the front, this show aesthetically would have had me fully captivated.
This show finds its roots in the #MeToo movement and explores how both men and women need to approach future steps to minimize these abusive situations. What I didn’t know is that men have already started sub-movements like #IDidThat which acknowledge their wrongdoing and look to the future for ways they can regain the respect they once had.
With many fairly different acting styles, I thought that the acting was pretty cohesive. However, I found it quite repetitive to have every character get up out of their chair to deliver their soliloquy and thrash around the stage only to be repeated by the next.
One performance that I thought really stood out was that of Savannah Binder who played the young, gay Jake. Binder brought a life into her character so different from the dreary masculinity portrayed by most of the other characters. She also brought along her a puppet named Todd as she delivered her soliloquy in the form of ventriloquism. I empathized with her relatable backstory and her struggle to break into who you really are.
What made this show enjoyable was its absurd comedic interjections specifically made by Sundance Nagrial who played Zuka and Sunday Muse who played Sledge. With opposite comedic styles, these two worked magic together through Nagrial’s profanity balanced with the quirky mumblings of Muse’s Sledge. Nagrial also kept the energy of the show going for me as her seemingly random outbursts acted as great segue ways between scenes.
Technically speaking, the show was fairly simple with a bright, well lit stage with the occasional rock classic blared over the speakers. However, I thought that the lighting could have potentially reflected the mood shifts of the piece better. For example, the story of falsely accused abuse told by Mercy Cherian’s character, Bill could have seen a single spot light outline his trembling figure instead of the general cabin lighting the audience had grown accustomed to.
We The Men was at times a hard-hitting drama about the realistic struggles of being a man. But mostly, it was an outrageous comedy about eight men in a cabin who become brothers. Not only through how much liquor they consumed, but through the swapping of war stories. It proved to be a show that I would only recommend for more mature audiences who don’t mind the odd sexual innuendo.
- We The Men plays at The Cadillac Lounge. (1296 Queen St. W.)
- Full price tickets are $13.00
- 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 very rarely admitted
- This show is rated (14A) Not recommended for people under the age of 14 and features sexual content and mature language
- This venue is accessible
- Wednesday July 4th, 08:00 pm
- Thursday July 5th, 08:00 pm
- Friday July 6th, 08:00 pm
- Saturday July 7th, 08:00 pm
- Sunday July 8th, 08:00 pm
- Friday July 13th, 08:00 pm
- Saturday July 14th, 08:00 pm
- Sunday July 15th, 08:00 pm
Photo of The Cast of WE THE MEN (Back row – left to right Sunday Muse, Samantha Brown, Sundance Nagrial, Jacqueline Dawe, Silvi Santoso Front Row – left to right Zackey Lime, Barbara Aufgang, Rachel Brophy) by Heather Pollack