Space Girl, a play presented by Hyperloop Theatre at the 2021 Virtual Toronto Fringe Festival, is a show about decision and compassion fatigue. It’s about things that overwhelm us — a sense of our own smallness, a world on fire, an expanding multiplicity of choice in the search for a perfect solution. What if we could simply leave a daunting and damaged planet, instead of having to put the pieces back together? This is a melancholy, oddly beautiful work, with a participatory twist to keep audiences engaged in its philosophy.
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Honeymoon: Played Out, produced by Ok, theatre and now playing in the 2021 Virtual Toronto Fringe Festival, bills itself as a “curated arts spree featuring over a dozen new and exciting young artists.” This is its second installment, the first being a live event in 2019 before the world shut down.
As the company title’s sly reference to the “Ok, boomer” meme suggests, this is a show filled with young talents hoping to blast their way past the establishment into recognition. As its previous live incarnation suggests, it closely resembles a chill night at a trendy, grooving open mic in a downtown warehouse, but with better transitions. While it loses some of its vibe in the digital translation, it’s funky fresh enough.
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“No-one gets to see the real me until I remember breathing,” says drag queen Selena Vyle (She’s So Vyle) in a raw line from her song cycle Broken Hearted Girl, now playing at the Virtual 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival. A series of connected songs about three romantic relationships over the past decade that shaped and changed Vyle via their painful endings, Broken Hearted Girl embraces the digital medium with a beautifully-shot tour through Toronto. At its centre is Vyle, who shines brightly in her outfits and awesome coifs, sharing entertaining and sometimes moving lyrical observations about the ones who got away.
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Talking, sentient birds are a staple of children’s entertainment, from Big Bird to Foghorn Leghorn to Aladdin’s Iago. Because we can teach some birds to speak, there’s always that added sense of wonderment: what if they had more to say? In Arthur J. Peabody, a new comedy from Amanda Dempsey-Laughlin now playing at the Virtual 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival, the titular talking bird (Desmond Baxter) tells his story of imprisonment and escape to a wide-eyed child.
The show is earnest and sweet, but the content is pitched to a younger audience, and the script could use some plucking.
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In Morro and Jasp’s new offering, a one-night fundraiser for the virtual 2021 Next Stage Community Booster called Bake Your Heart Out, the two clown sisters are up to their old tricks. The inseparable duo has finally come up against a directive to be separate, and a baby on the way makes their divide even more palpable. However, that’s not going to keep them from sharing their screens – and hearts.
Continue reading Review: Bake Your Heart Out (Next Stage Community Booster 2021)