The correct time to see a comedic action-adventure solo show set in a strip club is 10:30 on a Saturday night at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival. Becoming Magic Mike: An Action Adventure Comedy gave the fairly full house exactly what it wanted — a playful romp. Continue reading Becoming Magic Mike: An Action Adventure Comedy (DK Reinemer) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review
I’ll be honest: I love a Fringe musical. They’re stripped down little items, and I find the raw edges of them somehow very appealing. BFFs, a new two-hander musical at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival from Greg McLeod and David Poon is charming in its concept, though I found it somewhat uneven in the delivery.
Despite the melodramatic nonsense title, The Ashes of Forgotten Rain at the 2019 Toronto Fringe is a comedy — a theatrical comedy. As in, it’s a comedy about working in theatre, full of in jokes and meta-references and pleasingly-headshaking “ah, the theatah.” For this kind of show to work at all, it needs actors that can commit fully to a high level of nonsense and then ride it through the grave and back to life. To the benefit of my funny bone, to say nothing of my spirits, this exceptionally well stage-managed play had them.
A few years ago, I saw Jon Bennet’s Fire In The Meth Lab and quite liked it, so when I saw his name again in the 2019 Toronto Fringe program, I clicked on My Dad’s Deaths: A Comedy. I expected tenderness, nuance, hilarity and a few of the kind of cheap jokes where you know it’s not kind to laugh but it’s still really funny. Though this is billed as a comedy, I was ultimately underwhelmed.
The Weight Of It All, a show about weight and diet culture at this year’s Toronto Fringe, attempts to combine a critique of diet culture, a body-positive message, modern dance, original music, sensitive discussion of infertility, and much more to the stage. So much more, in fact, that I felt it didn’t quite stand up under the weight. Continue reading The Weight Of It All (Haggard B) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review
In the new Fringe venue at Streetcar Crowsnest, in the east end (!!), I caught Drink Of Choice, the last show of my day at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Everyone hopes to end on a good note, and my wishes were granted – this lively, well-crafted solo show was an absolute blast.
My nine-year-old companion and I arrived excited to Boy vs Fly, our first show of the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival, deep in discussion about whether the performance would feature real flies (we disagreed; I suspected no but he thought certainly yes). Turns out that while there were no live flies, there was certainly a lot of buzzing about.
Luminato presents Canadian Ronnie Burkett’s allegory about love, loss, and longing in Toronto
This year’s Luminato Festival, under the curatorial direction of Naomi Campbell, has collected any number of sharp, new takes on concepts that seem perhaps done – from love to climate change – but even among these Forget Me Not stands out. A new work from Canadian magic-maker Ronnie Burkett, Forget Me Not is an allegory about love, loss, longing and language that spans… well, it spans many distances.
WhyNot Theatre’s RISER Project (#notafestival) gives a boost to four deserving productions a year, and every year’s class is strong. 2019 brings us Samson Brown with 11:11, his first solo effort, under the directional and dramaturgical eye of hometown genius d’bi young anitafrika. Brown, whose Gillette commercial dropped just a couple days before the show opened, is having a big moment as he tends his transgender body and spirit in both media. Continue reading Review: 11:11 (AVO Collective/RISER Project)
Robert Lepage brings 887 back to Toronto audiences at Canadian Stage
Canadian arts eminence Robert Lepage, notable as a director and designer for decades, has been making new narrative work the last few years. This includes the recent 887, a memory play currently running at Canadian Stage, tracing an early part of Lepage’s history with his family, childhood home, class, and relationship to the FLQ and the Quebec separatists movement.