Getting older definitely sucks, so if you find yourself feeling Middle Raged, you can laugh along with Gary Pearson and Geri Hall at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival. Hall and Pearson wrote and perform this handful of sketches about parenting, sex, and body issues. Since both performers are alums of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, they definitely know what they’re doing in the comedy department.
The show starts with a typical married couple date-night activity — writing your will and deciding who gets your nightmare children when you die. It then moves on to other relatable situations like trying on bathing suits in a public dressing room, or convincing your husband to enact your Outlander sex fantasy. My personal favourite sketch was one in which a team of God’s scientists discuss why human genitalia was invented.
Between sketches, Geri and Gary — by the way, how is this show not called Geri and Gary? — sing a number of songs accompanied by musician Jeff Rosenthal. The songs are funny too, riffing on some of the hits from their younger days. (REM’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” becomes “It’s the End of Our Youth…”)
Hall and Pearson are a fun duo. They play a married couple in several sketches, though they’re quick to point out that they’re not married in real life. They take shots at each other’s expense and keep their energy up during the 60-minute show. Gary also looks great in a bathing suit, and his body confidence is an inspiration to us all.
You certainly don’t have to be middle-aged to appreciate the humour in this musical sketch comedy show, though my bad knee did twinge a little in sympathy. But note that this show isn’t for kids — two words: penis diagrams.
- Middle Raged, plays at the Robert Gill Theatre. (214 College 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 (275 Bathurst St.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Content Warnings: mature language; sexual content; not recommended for children.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible through usage of a painfully slow elevator. We recommend making sure you arrive a few minutes early.
- 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.
- Wednesday July 3rd, 10:00 pm
- Friday July 5th, 2:15 pm
- Sunday July 7th, 6:15 pm
- Tuesday July 9th, 5:00 pm
- Thursday July 11th, 6:45 pm
- Friday July 12th, 8:00 pm
- Saturday July 13th, 2:15 pm
Photo of Gary Pearson and Geri Hall, by David Goodyear.