All posts by Tavish McGregor

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Never Swim Alone (emerGENcee) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Never Swim Alone at the 2014 Toronto Fringe Theatre FestivalNever 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.

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Rulers of the Universe: A Love Story (Rulers of the Universe) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Rulers of the Universe: a Love Story at the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival.

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.

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Play Piano Play (Otherhand Productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Play Piano Play at the 2014 Toronto Fringe FestivalTo be fair, Play Piano Play warns you that it is not, in fact, a play before the show even begins. But its inclusion in this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival remains confusing.

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.”

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All in the Timing (Miller’s Son & From the Oven) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

All in the Timing offers up classics of sketch comedy at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

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).

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Out to Lunch (Half Second Echo) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

 Half Second Echo presents Out to Lunch at Fringe 2014

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.

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