All posts by Jonathan Lavallee

Ether (White Mills Theatre Co.) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Esther Vlessing, Felicia Valenti, Jonathan Widdifield, Breanna Maloney, and Cassandra Davidson in Ether by Yuko Yamamori

Ether, currently playing at Toronto Fringe Festival, is a show about what happens in the space between being alive and being dead, that moment of breath between survival and your last one. The show is made up of three interconnected-ish vignettes where people are dealing with that moment between life and death. They all have moments where they wonder where they are, what’s going to happen to them, and re-enactments of what in their lives led them to the Ether.

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Red Knows: A Play on Words (L’Arche Toronto Sol Express) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Andreas Prinz and R. Boardman in Red Knows: A Play on Words by Matt Rawlins

All acting actually is an acquirement of articulate actions. Beautiful bespoke beats which break boundaries but benevolently bestowed communal clowning. The cute, commanding, considerate cast created a colossal day.

I was trying to be as fun and clever as Red Knows: A Play on Words playing at Toronto Fringe Festival but really you should just go see it instead.

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TIL DEATH: The Six Wives of Henry VIII (Monster Theatre) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Tara Travis in TIL DEATH: The Six Wives of Henry VIII by PinkMonkey Do you like history? Tara Travis stars as all six of Henry VIII’s dead wives in TIL DEATH: The Six Wives of Henry VIII playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. They find themselves before the gates of heaven. Before they can enter, there’s a little bit of a problem they need to solve. Only one of them can sit next to him for eternity, and they will need to decide which one of them it is going to be.

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It’s Getting Hot in Here! (Potato Potato) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Thomas McDevitt in It's Getting Hot In Here by Daniel Bagg

There is space for unapologeticly angry funny theatre. It’s Getting Hot in Here! at the Toronto Fringe Festival very much stakes that space out and refuses to move from it. It is a hilariously self-aware, dreamlike set of internal monologue vignettes from inside the mind of someone who is faced with a ballot box and a choice in front of them.

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LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ODD JOBS? (Arthur MacKinnon) 2019 Fringe Review

Photo of Arthur MacKinnon in LIGHTS! CAMERA! ODD JOBS? by Olivia MacKinnonThere are stories of personal journeys filled with interesting characters and thoughtful moments. They can be done as a series of vignettes jumping back and forth in time providing details and context. I felt that LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ODD JOBS?, on stage as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, wanted to have all those things but it didn’t really know how to put it all together.

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Elbow Room (Gloria Grethel Productions) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

line art drawing representing the four actors in Elbow Room. No credit for artist found on the site.I am going to get all Marshal McLuhan for a moment and say right now that the medium is the message. I say that because this is playwright Lana Lovell’s debut theatre production after having so much experience writing for television. The best thing I can say about the script of Elbow Room playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival was that it was educational.

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Personal Demon Hunter (The Velvet Duke) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Velvet Wells in Personal Demon Hunter by Tyra Sweet

I read the info for Personal Demon Hunter on the Toronto Fringe Festival site and expected the kind of show that really does a send up of motivational speaking. Something that was irreverent, funny, self-aware, and ready to make fun of the whole enterprise. That is not what I got at all, and I think that was a very good thing. Instead, Personal Demon Hunter is a very sincere walk down Velvet Duke’s PATH(c) to fight both his and your personal demons.

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Woke ‘n Broke (Sixty60) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Rob Michaels, Neha Kohli, Carolyne Das, Zohaib Khan and Sima Sepehri and Nkasi Ogbonnah by a self-timer for Woke n Broke

Woke ‘n Broke the Toronto Fringe Festival is a variety show play which has that improv feel with a series of frantic short sketches. The sketches range from a reimagining of The Last Supper, to meeting an old friend who has started dating Dracula. Like any variety show kind of show the sketches are hit and miss. Unfortunately, for me, they were a lot more in the miss category.

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