Clitoria: A Sex-Positive Superhero! (Laura Bailey Music) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Picture of Matthew Bradley, Laura Bailey, Jada Rifkin in Clitoria: A Sex-Positive Superhero!Clitoria: A Sex Positive Superhero! Produced by Laura Bailey Music playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival blends music, puppetry and cartoonish performances to create a fun and enjoyable hour of sexy entertainment.

Taking influence from the recent shifts in Ontario’s sexual education curriculum, Clitoria: A Sex Positive Superhero! puts its focus on examining the difficulties inherent in exploring and understanding an individual’s sexual desires within a repressive environment that shames anything outside what is “normal”.

Through a modified version of the Jekyll & Hyde tropes the musical tells the story of Marianne Parsons, a brilliant neuroscientist and High School teacher who attempts to subsume her kinky urges with a brain-altering serum. Thanks to some unintentional modifications to the recipe she is transformed into the titular Clitoria, an uninhibited and confident version of herself with no shame or embarrassment towards what she wants.

The show is permeated with a sense of cartoonish playfulness with plenty of Fourth-Wall breaking, goofy banter and over the top performances that keep everything light and fun, letting the audience get comfortable with what could be contentious subject matter. It also helped when a costume change malfunction happened; even though the show clearly had gone slightly off the rails the cast’s playful and self-mocking performances allowed for this error to just be part of the fun, something the audience could giggle along with and the recovery simply felt like more of the show.

As the show is a musical I was a little worried that 60 minutes wouldn’t be enough to create an effective tapestry of songs and tell a full story, but the songs are tight, effective and hit the right emotional beats while not feeling rushed or steamrolling the plot with excuses to sing.

Clitoria: A Sex Positive Superhero! is definitely a bit of fun fluff and if you’re looking for “serious” fringe theatre you might want to stay away, but if you’re looking for an hour of fun and sexy times, it’s worth checking out.

This review is based on the July 3rd preview performance of the production.

Details

  • Clitoria: A Sex-Positive Superhero! 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 (275 Bathurst St.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: mature language; sexual content; audience participation; not recommended for children.
  • 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.
  • The Toronto Fringe Festival is scent-free: please do not wear perfumes, colognes, or other strongly-scented products.

Performances

  • Wednesday July 3rd, 10:15 pm
  • Friday July 5th, 4:45 pm
  • Saturday July 6th, 12:45 pm
  • Monday July 8th, 7:30 pm
  • Thursday July 11th, 2:00 pm
  • Saturday July 13th, 10:15 pm
  • Sunday July 14th, 8:00 pm

Photo of Matthew Bradley, Laura Bailey, Jada Rifkin by Danielle Reesor

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