Heartbeat and Other Ways to Say I Love You ranks as one of this year’s finer Toronto Fringe Festival offerings. Equal parts comedy, myth, and commentary on a hyper-connected, heavily commercial way of life, the play highlights the exceptional acting and writing talents of Tanya Elchuk and Natalie Semotiuk. Continue reading Heartbeat and Other Ways to Say I Love You (Dynamic Triumph) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review
A Lesson in Gabby is playwright Labe Kagan’s semi-autobiographical comedy about love, an artist’s angst, the Toronto real estate market and new age medicine. It also parodies (for reasons the play does not disclose) the relentless fundraising efforts of 91.1 Jazz FM. Performed to a packed house on opening night, this comedy may not be for everyone, but it delivers on its promise of laughs, and may be a fan favourite at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. Continue reading A Lesson in Gabby (Mark MyWords-Ink) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review
The Doctor Will See you Now is a site-specific show set in the waiting room of the Royal Care Medical Centre, and perfectly captures and caricatures the awkwardness uniform to every clinic waiting room in Canada. Karen Parker steals the show as Dijon, the clinic’s receptionist and wannabe rap star, who is more preoccupied with selling her latest CD than keeping the clinic functional. Continue reading The Doctor Will See You Now (Sorry Goat Productions) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review
Mumsical is the output of sketch comedy veteran Moniquea Marion‘s furious 2014 writing, producing, and performing efforts (where she created and starred in over half a dozen one-woman shows). The play follows Marion as she struggles with the decision to become a mother or remain childless. She embarks on an odyssey of unusual motherly scenarios set against the ominous ticking of her own biological clock. Continue reading Mumsical (Moniquea Marion) 2015 Fringe Review
Late last night, a scrappy, sure-footed performance-poet strutted onto the Tarragon Theatre‘s Mainspace, rambling about Hungarian nuclear physicists and a Nazi atomic bomb. With nothing but a few changes in lighting and an effortlessly lyrical monologue, Jem Rolls continued to spin these ramblings into a fascinating one-man show titled The Inventor of All Things. This is a last-minute, so-late-it’s-not-even-in-the-program entry, and judging by the audience reaction, the Toronto Fringe Festival is lucky to have Rolls on board. Continue reading The Inventor of All Things (Jem Rolls) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review
Never Swim Alone is emerGENcee’s Toronto Fringe Festival rendition of the 1991 classic that portrays the bitter rivalry between two longtime friends and their failed pursuit of some sweet summer loving. It opens light-hearted and charismatic, with most of its lines delivered in unison, and some of the best, most intelligent one-liners I’ve heard in years (one example: “If shit had a brain, it would quote Nietzche”).
And then things get real. Oh, how things get real. If ever a play were to capture the rude awakening of adult life, where friends become enemies and spouses cuckolds; where friendly competition becomes bloody contest; if ever anything were to convey how time and age bloody us with a brutal, sudden, merciless reality, it is Never Swim Alone.
You can’t walk through the Fringe Club without getting hit in the face four or five times by someone waving pamphlets for their sketch comedy show. But Fringe is nothing if not Toronto’s most bubbly cesspool of variety, and no two sketch shows are created equal. Rulers of the Universe: A Love Story, sets itself apart at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival with its top-notch original writing, a solid cast, and an infectious sense of camaraderie.
Pitched as “a blend of comedy and incendiary pianism,” this one-man act follows Czech pianist Jan Janovsky, as he strings together host of musical numbers with a loosely woven narrative of his “Czech past, Canadian present, and ambiguous future.”
All in the Timing, Miller’s Son & From the Oven Productions sketch comedy offering at this years Toronto Fringe Festival, delivers a curation of sketches with wit as sharp and precisely placed as a mountain climber’s axe through Trotsky’s skull (which happens to be in the play, and it’s just one of those images that sticks with you afterwards).
Among the many offerings at the Toronto Fringe Festival this year toronto dance troupe Half Second Echo offers up the opportunity to see bizarre, bird-like life on an alien world, a killer rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit, a “Misfits Anonymous” meeting, and the Shatner-esque narration of a fictional documentary and more, all presented through the lens of dance in Out to Lunch, playing at Tarragon Mainspace.
True to its Star Trek muse, Out to Lunch insists on going into uncharted territory, sometimes to its peril, but it emerges as a lively piece of theatre that captures the daring, exuberant spirit at the heart of Fringe.