All posts by S. Bear Bergman

S. Bear Bergman has great faith in the power of theatre to make change, and has been putting his money where his mouth is on that one for some time. A writer, performer, and lecturer, Bear works full time as an artist and cultural worker and loves to see as much live performance as possible – making this a fantastic gig for him.

Review: Superhero! A Bam! Zap! Pow! Murder Mystery (Mysteriously Yours Theatre)

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Superhero! is Toronto’s Mysteriously Yours’ latest dinner-theatre murder-mystery

In the world of theatre, a certain unofficial hierarchy of “importance” is known to exist and – we should probably all acknowledge – murder mystery dinner theatre tends to get ranked toward the bottom of the Serious Cultural Events scale. As the one who had to sit through Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia last fall, I can tell you for certain that while Superhero! A Bam! Zap! Pow! Murder Mystery might be less important, it’s certainly a lot more fun.

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Starry Notions (Nefarious Projects) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Ryan G HindsNo one could be more delighted to report that seeing Starry Notions tonight at Annex Theatre meant I finally found a Toronto Fringe show I want to rave about, to go on at length about, to answer strangers in lineups with when they ask the traditional Fringe smalltalk question: have you seen anything you’ve loved? Yes. I loved Starry Notions. Would you like to hear all about why? Excellent.

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Klondyke: Stand Up Straight From The Yukon (Jenny Hamilton) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Jenny Gold from Yukon Gold ComedyIt takes a big personality to fill the Tarragon Mainspace, and also a big crowd. While Jenny Hamilton didn’t have the latter for her 11pm show of Klondyke: Stand Up Straight From The Yukon at the Toronto Fringe Festival, she certainly has the former. Possessing the classic Yukon values around propriety and the vocabulary to match, Hamilton takes us on a whirlwind that starts with an encounter with a homeless Tim Gunn-wannabe on a Toronto sidewalk and finishes… at the gynecologist’s office. There are plenty of laughs in between.

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The Untitled Sam Mullins Project (Sam Mullins) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Sam Mullins

In a fairly full house in the Factory Mainspace at 1:45 on a sunny Saturday at Toronto Fringe Festival, Sam Mullins (eponymous author of The Untitled Sam Mullins Project shows his stuff. The photo above does not lie: Mullins tells stories. If I had a sharpie, I’d amend his sign to read “I tell (three fairly interesting and one utterly riveting) stories (well enough that no one looked at their watch for an entire hour).” In a nutshell, there’s the show.

Continue reading The Untitled Sam Mullins Project (Sam Mullins) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Skunkweed (Triple ByPass Productions) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Chris Whitby, Melanie Pyne, TJ Cheslea, and Amanda Armagon courtesy Triple Bypass Productions, photo by Cedric Swaneck

Have you ever, in your long and lucky life, met someone who just smiled at you and somehow their smile hit you right in the heart? I have. But never has such complicated, raw, needy nonsense ensued as is acted out in Skunkweed, my first Toronto Fringe show of 2015 (playing at Theatre Passe Muraille in the Mainspace). This production of Skunkweed, an Eric Bogosian play, is 100% Bogosian in plot (sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll) and in theme: what would happen if you stopped behaving as you were supposed to, and did what you wanted instead? Continue reading Skunkweed (Triple ByPass Productions) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review