All posts by Mariah Ramsawakh

(un)boxed (Jay9 Dance Projects) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Jen Hum and Jannine Saarinen

I’m not usually a patron of contemporary dance, but I might have been converted by (un)boxed a performance from Jay9 Dance Projects at the Toronto Fringe Festival. It made such great use of the space available, lighting, music and of course performance. It played like a Disney animated short except it was real life.

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Candy & Shelley Go to the Desert (3 Ducks in a Row Productions) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of desertCandy & Shelley Go to the Desert is a play put on by 3 Ducks in a Row Productions for the Toronto Fringe Festival. It follows a pair of friends, stranded in the desert after their car breaks down on a road trip. This was the most traditional performance I have watched at Fringe this year; it didn’t try to reinvent a new way of storytelling, so it was still familiar and easy to follow. It was supposed to be a production by and for women, but to me it seemed to have missed the mark.

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YellowZoned (You, Me and Us) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

photo of Alia Josephine EttienneYellowZoned is a one woman show put on by You, Me and Us at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace for the Toronto Fringe Festival. It’s an emotional and realistic look at how anxiety manifests itself as a mental illness. It’s performed, written and directed by Alia Etienne.

What worked best for this production was how true it rang. At first you’re not quite sure what it has to do with mental illness, as Etienne begins on a passionate tangent on the disservice of designing ugly shoes. As she moves around the stage, her mannerisms start to feel familiar. The way she jumps from one story to another, her emphatic gestures, the words she uses feels as though she is speaking to me earnestly, privately.

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“Ze”: queer as f*ck! (Michelle/Ryan) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

photo of Michelle/Ryan

I’ll be honest. This was my first time attending the Toronto Fringe Festival so I didn’t know what to expect. Walking into the theatre to see Michelle/Ryan’s “Ze”: Queer as f*ck!, I realized that I probably wasn’t expecting a very spry person wearing a jockey harness and big purple dildo doing stretches on the floor.

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Review: Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret (Queer Pride)

Photo of Camila Diaz-Varela, Katie Sly and Nathan StreetSomething for everyone at this Toronto bi- and pansexual themed cabaret

Walking into the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, I will admit I was giddy. I’d heard about Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret after its initial show back in 2014, but this was my first time going — and as part of Pride, no less!

It’s a showcase of performances including poetry, dance, burlesque, song and visual art by and for people under the bi- and pansexual umbrella. Being bisexual myself, I wanted to know what it meant to other people to be bisexual. Settling into my seat, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

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