Of all the Toronto Fringe Festival shows I’ve attended thus far, Potosi is the only one I’ve seen in a literally full house. The Tarragon Mainspace was packed for this show, viewers no doubt drawn in by the posters that have sprouted across the city, each reminding all who see them that Potosi is the winner of the Fringe New Play Contest. In short, this show had some very high expectations to live up to, and as a play, it definitely achieved that much.
Continue reading Potosi (Good Old Neon) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review
“The first word is always the hardest.”
Even as I first entered the George Ignatieff Theatre, Jamie was already waiting for me, grumpily shuffling sheets of paper around her bedroom floor, lost in a futile search for the first word from which all others would flow. Even before the show began, I knew her: I’ve been friends with her, I’ve been in love with her, heck, I’ve been her. And as soon as the first line was spoken, I was spellbound. The show is Concrete Kid playing at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, and it is the opinion of this reviewer that Blue Dagger Theatre has wrought something truly special, almost magical, out of the disparate fragments of modern life and love.
Our heroine is Jamie, teenage poet and lesbian islanded in a sea of stubborn suburban straightness. Her adoptive parents, praying all the while for God to explain why He has cursed them with a deviant daughter, intent to ship her off to a rural aunt for the summer. Jamie, armed with only a fake I.D. and a concrete will, is determined to make the most of what may be her last night of freedom.
Continue reading Concrete Kid (Blue Dagger Theatre) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review
It’s a hell of a thing to wind up on the front page of the Toronto Sun with the words “DEVIL” and “TERRORIST” printed under your face…especially if you’ve got a job interview later that day. But Lwam Ghebrehariat has a knack for turning pitfalls into upsides, or at the very least getting a good laugh out of them.
Lwam is Eritrea’s Greatest Hockey Player is the true story, told in stand-up comedy at the Toronto Fringe Festival, of one man’s journey through the not-so post-racial wonderland of Canada, a journey that took him from his childhood home in Alberta to the Tarragon Theatre Solo Room. Continue reading Lwam is Eritrea’s Greatest Hockey Player (Lwam Ghebrehariat) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review
The playbill for this Mind Bang Productions family drama asserts that the play is based on a true story. What the playbill doesn’t tell you is that the play’s true story might very well be yours as well as its creator’s. For an hour’s time during the Toronto Fringe Festival, St. Vlad’s Theatre is transformed into a place of warm welcomes, homemade food, and deeply uncomfortable personal questions: Grandma and Grandpa’s house. And for an hour’s time, audiences are invited to step inside and eavesdrop on one weary grandson’s Conversations with Dork.
Continue reading Conversations with Dork (Mind Bang Productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review
“Beat them. Arrest them. Cure them. Whip them. Burn their hearts. Kill them.”
It is a turbulent time in Moscow. It is the age of Putin, the days of the Sochi Olympics, against the backdrop of growing LGBT visibility worldwide. And for sixty minutes during the Toronto Fringe Festival, the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse becomes a window into the heart of a faraway place that is nevertheless very much like home, as it is transformed into a communal apartment in Moscow populated by seven disparate, dangerous, and delightful people, brought to life by Hooligans Theatre: a Komunka.
Continue reading Komunka (Hooligans Theatre) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review