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.

The Ashes of Forgotten Rain (Missed Metaphor Productions) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

photo of Laura Mannion and Jennifer Fahy in The Ashes of Forgotten Rain - two women framed in a backstage-style lighted mirror apply makeup at a cluttered table.

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.

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My Dad’s Deaths: A Comedy (A Mulled Whine) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of photo of Jon Bennet and his Dad for My Dad's Deaths (A Comedy) provided by the companyA 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.

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The Weight Of It All (Haggard B) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

poster image for The Weight of it All - a cartoon of feet on a scale in a pink bathroom. In the wastebasket a race number and a pregnancy test are visible.

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