All posts by Jen Norman

Box – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From the Press Release:

BOX — an outrageously ridiculous and thought-provoking satire about two security guards and the meaning of work — will keep you guessing on the edge of your seat. Featuring a multicultural cast of dedicated artists including local TV celebrity and award-winning singer-songwriter Arlene Paculan. So what’s in the box? Come and see! BOX plays July 3-14 at St. Vladimir Institute Theatre as part of the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival. Tickets are available via, by phone at 416-966-1062, or at the door.

From visionary playwright and director Joel Pettigrew (Waking, Toronto Fringe 2016; The Girl in the Photograph, Toronto Fringe 2018; Mercury Man, Winnipeg Fringe 2018), comes a new, provocative satire. Journey into the absurd world of BOX, a witty, energetic and sincere glance at the meaning of work and duty. Peppered generously with delightful comedy and thoughtful introspection about the monotony of our daily lives, BOX asks what doing a job means to us. We all must work to live, but should we live to work? BOXexplores this conundrum with sharp wit and insight into the complexities of human attitude towards the workplace. The play sheds light on questions we all ask ourselves, especially during particularly tedious times: What is all this for? Am I important? Why am I doing this?

The guards are played by Fringe veteran and executive producer Lucas James (Waking) and commercial/special skills actor Justin Styles. Joining them onstage are Thomas Sarigiannidis (Waking; The Girl in the Photograph) as the mysteriously named “One” and local actress and celebrity Arlene Paculan (2019 MARTY award winner; 2018 Best Pop Artist Mississauga Music Award; Host of Striving Artist on Filipino TV) as the equally enigmatic “Two”. Playwright/Director Joel Pettigrew has been telling “outside-the-box” stories across Canada for over a decade. Production Designer Chris Coxson (Alumnae Theater, Heritage Theatre – Brampton, Toronto Fringe, Winnipeg Fringe) works extensively in Design for film, video, television, and live stage productions.

BOX is Broken English Theatre’s inaugural production, but it brings together experienced friends and collaborators with a deep commitment to good stories told well.

Performance Information for BOX:Venue: St. Vladimir Institute Theatre
620 Spadina Ave, Toronto

Wed, 3 July @ 6:00pm
Fri, 5 July @ 2:15pm
Sun, 7 July @ 8:00pm
Mon, 8 July @ 10:00pm
Wed, 10 July @ 6:15pm
Sat, 13 July @ 4:15pm
Sun, 14 July @ 1:00pm
**Please note variable curtain times.

$11 (+ $2 service fee) via , by phone at 416-966-1062, or at the door.
Tickets may also be purchased during the festival at POSTSCRIPT, (the patio at the Toronto Fringe), located in the Hockey Rink at 275 Bathurst Street.
Advance Tickets on credit card have an additional $3 per order processing fee.
Running time is 80 minutes. **Please note, absolutely no latecomers will be admitted**

Media Contact:  Thomas Sarigiannidis, 416-705-0342,

BFFs – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release

BFFs – A Drunkenly Hilarious Musical About Millennials Never Wanting to Grow Up 

Best friends Amanda and Devin are totally real adults who want to celebrate their impending 30th birthdays at The Most Magical Place On Earth. Only a few things stand in their way: money, jobs, partners, and timing. Fuelled by boxed wine and memories of their carefree youth, Amanda and Devin are determined to make this trip happen. If only real life didn’t have real responsibilities. 

BFFs is a 60 minute original musical comedy by three-time Fringe Festival award winners Bad Dress Productions. 

Bad Dress Productions in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents BFFs written by David Poon with music and lyrics by Greg McLeod directed by Jessica Kostuck starring Kimberly Dolan & Mike Wisniowski stage managed by Julia Raftery choreography by Claire Hughes lighting design by Eric Weiss 

Opens JULY 5 runs to JULY 13 

THEATRE PASSE MURAILLE MAINSPACE 16 Ryerson Avenue Toronto, Ontario M5T 2P3 


Friday, July 5th – 6:30pm

Saturday, July 6th – 10:30pm

Sunday, July 7th – 8:45pm

Monday, July 8th – 4:00pm

Thursday, July 11th – 6:00pm

Friday, July 12th – 7:00pm

Saturday, July 13th – 1:30pm 

Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating. 

Tickets: $11 tickets on sale now 

Purchase online: By Phone: 416-966-1062 In Person: During the festival at POSTSCRIPT, the patio at the Toronto Fringe. Located in the Hockey Rink at 275 Bathurst Street (Dundas + Bathurst). 

Toronto Fringe Communications Manager: Claire Wynveen,

Bad Dress Productions Media Contact: David Poon, (929) 452-4466 

Review: 1991 (RISER Project/Guilty By Association)

The RISER Project presents Cole Lewis’ unconventionally-staged coming-of-age play in Toronto

1991 is an inventive, intimate performance. Show creator Cole Lewis tells us a tragically all-too-common story about girlhood while eschewing traditions in theatrical performance and use of technology onstage.

We follow the account of 12-year-old Nicole, whom we soon realize is a younger, memory-distorted version of the playwright and creator. She spends a summer with her ill-tempered father in Delaware, ostensibly to protect her from the murders plaguing Southern Ontario. Although not stated explicitly, the lingering threat of a killer does seem to allude to notorious Canadian criminals Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, as well as one of their many victims Leslie Mahaffy. While Nicole survives her journey, we feel every bump and bruise she endures along the way.

Continue reading Review: 1991 (RISER Project/Guilty By Association)

Review: Four Chords and a Gun (Starvox Entertainment)

Canadian premiere of punk rock memory play brings noise to Toronto

Four Chords and a Gun is a performance that we hear before we see. Fitting, considering it takes us behind the scenes of the iconic punk rock band the Ramones. After a rousing drum solo and some brief narration by sometime band member Marky Ramone (played by James Smith), we get to business. At least as much as a group of angry, self-medicating punks from Queens can.

The play is penned by comedian and actor John Ross Bowie, best known from roles on TV shows The Big Bang Theory and Speechless. This may cause trepidation for non-lovers of sitcoms, but untethered of television’s formulaic structure, Bowie proves himself a capable storyteller. He weaves a passionate, sharp, and informative account of the band, focusing on their trials and tribulations around recording the 1980 album End of the Century with flamboyant gun-toting producer Phil Spector.

Continue reading Review: Four Chords and a Gun (Starvox Entertainment)