And then…she did! (With Whit and Whimsy) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Joseph Zita, Alene Degian, and Jonathan Shaboo in And then...She DId!

And then…she did!, where “no dreams are too big”, is produced by With Whit and Whimsy and is playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival as part of KidsFest.

A very upbeat and energetic show, And then…she did! focuses on something most children can relate to but often don’t have the most positive feelings about — what do they want to be when they grow up?

At first, Molly’s dream to become a fairy godmother comes across as sweet to her classmates and teachers. But as Molly ages, pressure grows for her to be serious and others laugh at her dream. In one of her first heartfelt songs, Molly sings that she will “use my smarts,” a great way for the kids in the audience to root for Molly.

The music and lyrics are a big star of the show. The score was varied just enough to keep the pacing quick and command attention, but still kept a strong underlying musical thread that helped hold the show together. Characters’ aspirations evolve as they move through a few grades, and their songs offer a deeper glimpse into their personalities and their home lives. The songs offer a change in emotion and allow kids in the audience to connect with the characters even more.

The direction behind the actors’ use of the stage was strong. There were plenty of fun moments like the quirky handshake between two of the main characters. 

For me, I lost out on emotionally connecting more because of the highly positive tone and I wish Molly was more active in coming to her own realizations instead of her friends essentially solving her dilemma for her. I think it would have been fun to see the special shoes on the big drawing pad, instead of just hearing about them. I felt that much of the dialogue seemed unrealistic for characters younger than 12 but the actors did a great job of maintaining their youthfulness. Still, I very much enjoyed this show as did the children around me. 

And then…she did! allows every performer to stand out, and the characters are varied enough that different children will have a good chance of relating to someone in the show. The cast worked well together, making for an overall very cheery and positive show with opportunities for fun shout out responses from the audience on a topic that kids sometimes hold close to their hearts.

Details

  • And then… she did! plays at the George Ignatieff Theatre. (15 Devonshire Pl.)
  • Tickets for Kidsfest shows are $5 for kids (age 12 and younger); adults pay $13.
  • 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.
  • The George Ignatieff Theatre is wheelchair-accessible, and has wide aisles for easy mid-show exits.
  • Don’t miss the Kidsfest club located on the lawn adjacent to the venue! Free activities for children (3-12) and caregivers run every day of the festival: see website for details.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Thursday July 5th, 4:30 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 1:30 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 1:45 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 10:00 am
  • Wednesday July 11th, 3:00 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 11:30 am
  • Sunday July 15th, 10:00 am

Photo of Joseph Zita, Alene Degian, Jonathan Shaboo by Brian Goldenberg

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