Morning Buzz Live! (Mixtape) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Picture of Kyle Fines, Racquel Belmonte, and Carla Mah in Morning Buzz Live!I felt compelled to see Morning Buzz Live! at the Randolph Theatre by Mixtape at the Toronto Fringe Festival because I was curious about what a show about a morning talk show would be like.

The show’s description piqued my interest, and I wanted to know exactly how the topics of sexism, racism, and diversity hiring would play out on stage. There were some good points to Morning Buzz Live!, but its execution left something to be desired.

I applaud the actors/creators’ of the show’s daring in wanting to tackle social issues in this format. Racquel Belmonte stole the show as Marie-Claire “MC” Shepard. MC’s zany antics when she pretends to be a plastic surgeon were hilarious and offered insightful commentary about how hard it is to be a woman in the entertainment industry.

It was fun to cheer on the performers at various parts of the show, like being at a live taping of a real talk show. In fact, MC & Linda Wu (Carla Mah) running towards each other and greeting each other over dramatically in the beginning was comedic gold. The actors encouraging the audience to talk about the show on social media was also a nice touch.

Ultimately, though, Morning Buzz Live! didn’t really land for me. The show’s main flaw was that it tried too hard to be funny. There were too many jokes, too many show segments, and too many convoluted plot points. Some of the show’s humour also struck me as overly raunchy and just in poor taste.

I did enjoy how all three talk show hosts banded together to save Morning Buzz Live! from cancellation. I would have liked to see the relationships between all three characters develop more, as that would have given the narrative a bit more focus.

People who like over-the-top talk shows or ridiculous parodies may find Morning Buzz Live! to be worth seeing.

Details

  • Morning Buzz Live! plays at the Randolph Theatre. (736 Bathurst St.)
  • 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; Audience participation.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route. We recommend checking in with the venue box office at least 15 minutes before showtime.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Friday July 6th, 7:00 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 9:15 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 8:45 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 11:00 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 3:30 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 1:45 pm
  • Sunday July 15th, 1:45 pm

Photo of Kyle Fines, Racquel Belmonte, and Carla Mah in Morning Buzz Live! by Nolan Sage.

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