All posts by Cassandra Marie Witteman

Finding Funny (You & Me Entertainment) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Daniel Stolfi

The concept of seeing Finding Funny, a one man comedy show by You & Me Entertainment at the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival, had me terrified. Let’s be real: one man shows – when they are bad – are terrible; and comedy – when it is bad – is much worse (a terrible one man comedy show would basically be some kind of hell). Plus, I take myself too seriously and find it hard to admit that I like comedy.

Lucky for me, I was won over in the first few seconds by Daniel Stolfi’s delightfully awkward physical sensibilities. I think he tricked me, by being awkward and terrible and then before I realized it, I was really enjoying the show. So I have to admit, the show was tight, with tons of subtle nuances and great delivery.

Continue reading Finding Funny (You & Me Entertainment) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

What?! You’re A Medium?! (Psychic Medium Productions) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Carolyn Molnar

Being the reigning queen of Woo-Woo spiritual stuff, I jumped at the chance to review What?! You’re a Medium?! by Psychic Medium Productions at the 2016 Toronto Fringe.

This show is a mix of personal story-telling and one-on-one spirit readings between Carolyn and members of the audience.

Her storytelling style comes off as that of an affable aunt telling stories around the kitchen table. It was interesting to hear about her life, and the way she spoke kept me engaged and interested in what was happening.

Continue reading What?! You’re A Medium?! (Psychic Medium Productions) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Bodies Strange (Messy Kween Collective) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of the cast of Bodies Strange

When I was ushered into the Majilis Art Garden to see Bodies Strange at the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival, it didn’t seem like they were ready to have me. There were some people on the stage, talking and rifling through papers. I felt a little lost, but eventually chose what I thought was a good seat, right in the front row.

The staging is set with the audience in a semi-circle around the actors, but it was clear from the beginning that there was a lack of awareness of the audience, as I spent at least half the play staring at the back of an actor’s head. I was also forced to pull my legs up to dodge frenetic movement, while in the middle of the play my particular seat turned out to be in the splash zone (conveniently left out of the play’s many warnings).

Continue reading Bodies Strange (Messy Kween Collective) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Exterminating Angel (Alysa Pires Dance Projects) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Colleen Snell, James-Thomas Papandreos, Damian Norman

Sitting down to see Exterminating Angel by Alysa Pires Dance Projects at the 2016 Toronto Fringe FestivalI must admit that I was excited. I love dance, I mean love love love dance. There was a large turnout to opening night, and with the excitement of the Fringe Festival in it’s infancy, I think I detected a tingle in the air.

The piece itself is comprised of dream-like vignettes structured by brief group pieces that have a 1920s speakeasy feel to them. The write-up says that piece was inspired by a short film by Luis Buñuel, a noted surrealist filmmaker, but I don’t think that you need to have a familiarity with the film in order to enjoy the performance.

Continue reading Exterminating Angel (Alysa Pires Dance Projects) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Elektra (Stichomythia Theatre) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Alice Lundy and Erik Helle

Waiting in the lobby of the Artscape Youngplace Theatre on charming wooden block benches, under the soft fluorescent lighting could hardly have prepared me for the onslaught of emotion that would be brought on by being witness to Stichomythia Theatre‘s production of Elektra at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

More an act of magic than a play, the only criticism I could make is that I wish there was more it it. It was a privilege to be present for what felt like an insight into something very real and intensely human. Raw emotion made every moment of this piece feel vivid and alive and I don’t think that I stopped crying from the first word to the standing ovation at the end.

Continue reading Elektra (Stichomythia Theatre) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: Love’s Labour’s Lost (Bard in the Park)

Toronto’s Bard in the Park stages William Shakespeare’s play Love’s Labour’s Lost

photo provided by company

Plunking myself down on the grass in front of the Alex Christie Bandstand, I hunkered down on a verdant slope to watch the Shakespearean classic, Love’s Labour’s Lost by Bard in Park.

Taking place at the scenic Kew Gardens in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, the heavy canvas curtains fluttered in the wind and the audience members, hoods up, stoically braced themselves against the unseasonable cold.

Continue reading Review: Love’s Labour’s Lost (Bard in the Park)