In a nutshell, The Joy Of Sax is a comedic play that follows Luke (Cam Parkes), an aspiring saxophone player, as he chases his dream to become a famous musician. Mentored by real estate agent named Danny Dick, he becomes an instant sensation when the public finds out about the euphoric powers his saxophone contains.
This is gonna be a hard show to critique because even though there are so many things that I didn’t think were right about it…I still liked it for some reason, to the point where I will probably go buy a ticket for my friend and I to see it again. Perhaps I’ve truly been possessed by Luke’s saxophone, or maybe there’s something special about this show that takes a bit of digging to reveal.
I would compare my experience at The Joy Of Sax to a viewing of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. Remember that movie? It was so bad it was good. People loved that movie not because of the gorgeous cinematography and ground-breaking performances, but because it exists at all. Someone went out and made something this crazy and didn’t care what people would think, and that’s what makes it amazing.
I think the reason why I’m so enamored with The Joy Of Sax is not because it was a captivating story, but because I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing–and sometimes, that’s more than enough to entertain.
If I were to get more specific, I would say the strongest aspect of The Joy Of Sax is the jokes. Every few minutes we were presented with a tender nugget of highly sarcastic humour that comes and goes so fast, if you blink you’ll surely miss it.
Everything else besides the humour was questionable, from the dead silent scene transitions, to the dollar store props, to the strange and unnatural way the dialogue was strung together. The way the lines were interpreted felt almost alien.
Any theatre connoisseur would turn their nose up at The Joy Of Sax on the aesthetic alone. It even felt too cheap to be a Fringe show, but that’s also another reason why it’s so funny. Drinking from tiny pink toy tea cups probably wasn’t intended to be a joke, but we laughed anyway.
Despite being an amateur level production, for some weird reason, the entire audience had their eyes glued to that stage. We just couldn’t wait to see what strange thing could possibly happen next.
I don’t know why, but I’m seeing this show again so I can show my friend this bizarre, beautiful beast that is The Joy Of Sax. This show has cult written all over it. It’s totally weird, but sometimes weird is good.
- The Joy of Sax 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.
- Thursday July 5th, 6:30 pm
- Saturday July 7th, 11:30 pm
- Monday July 9th, 7:15 pm
- Tuesday July 10th, 4:30 pm
- Wednesday July 11th, 12:00 pm
- Friday July 13th, 1:45 pm
- Saturday July 14th, 5:00 pm
Photo of Jason Reilly by Sandra Otter.