All posts by Mike Anderson

Mike was that kid who walked into the high school stage crew booth, saw the lighting board, and went ooooooooooooh. Now that he’s (mostly) all grown up, Mike keeps his foot in the door as a community-theatre producer, stage manager and administrator. In the audience, he’s a tremendous sucker for satire and parody, for improvisational and sketch-driven comedy, for farce and pantomime, and for cabaret of all types. His happiest Toronto theatrical memory is (re) Birth: E. E. Cummings in Song.

All the World’s a Stage of Grief (Town Toast Theatre Company) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Poster from the show "All the World's a Stage of Grief"Fresh out of the Second City Academy, the ensemble cast of All the World’s a Stage of Grief (playing at the Randolph Theatre) is energetic and eager to please. Billed as “Toronto’s hottest up-and-coming comedic performers”, the cast skates through an hour of sketch comedy, sings a few songs, and throws in a little audience participation for good measure.

But is it funny enough for the Toronto Fringe Festival? Continue reading All the World’s a Stage of Grief (Town Toast Theatre Company) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

The First Canadian President of the United States (Ashek Theatre) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Priscilla Yakielashek in First Canadian President.In The First Canadian President of the United States (playing at St. Vlad’s), Kimberly White-White, the titular first Canadian President of the newly-merged United States of North America, shares her wisdom and life story with the 2084 graduating class of Preston Manning College. It’s all fine and well until her teleprompter goes haywire–and that’s when things get interesting.

Continue reading The First Canadian President of the United States (Ashek Theatre) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Transit Diaries (AlphabetSpoon Theatre) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

The poster for Transit Diaries.Transit Diaries (playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace) urges us to reconsider the role that the TTC plays in our lives. Yes, yes, okay: the bus takes us from place to place. But does it move us in other ways as well? What secrets do bus drivers know? What relationships blossom–and collapse–while in transit? And what do we miss when we sit silently, staring out the window, waiting for our stop to arrive?

The Toronto Fringe Festival is often light on Toronto-centric shows, so it’s nice to see something so strongly rooted in our local culture and traditions. And it’s a good show at that.

Continue reading Transit Diaries (AlphabetSpoon Theatre) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

The Strapping Young Lads (“I’d Like That” Productions) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Christopher Schulz and Christoff LundgrenIn The Strapping Young Lads (playing at the Annex Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival), two best friends are awakened by a beautiful tropical sunrise and react with total horror. They’d been promised the world would end the previous night, and have spent the last six months living as if it would. Now they’re broke, alone in the world, and being pursued through the jungle by cockfighting Columbian gangsters. Will they survive?

Continue reading The Strapping Young Lads (“I’d Like That” Productions) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Pat Burtscher’s Patopotamoose (Pat Burtscher’s Company) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Pat BurtscherPat Burtscher’s Patopotamoose (playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival‘s Solo Room) is described as a work-in-progress.

Towards the end of the set, he promises the audience that it gets better: it’s always kind of frantic and weird towards the start of the run, and if we come back later on, it’ll be more settled, more mellowed… essentially, better. I’m not so sure.

Continue reading Pat Burtscher’s Patopotamoose (Pat Burtscher’s Company) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review