Toronto Theatre Reviews

Fringe Review: 36 Little Plays About Hopeless Girls – Birdtown and Swanville

By Megan Mooney

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Birdtown and Swanville’s 36 Little Plays About Hopeless Girls is a delight.  It’s got a good helping of the surreal, so if you want everything wrapped in a bow this likely won’t be for you. 

However, if you like your humour a bit esoteric and your dancing a bit silly then this is the show for you.  I really liked it a lot.  I loved the props made out of flat cut out cardboard.  I loved the over the top feel.  I loved the interludes between scenes.  So, I guess basically, I loved it.

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Toronto Fringe Review: Charles Manson and Timothy Leary at Folsom Prison – Tarragon

By Dana Lacey

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Picture two beds, split into separate cells by masking tape and imagination. In one, Timothy Leary, the self-proclaimed philosopher and LSD messiah, is spending his first day in jail. In the other: Charles Manson, the notorious jailbird that conspired several LSD-inspired murders. They talk, they laugh, they scream obscenities. This is (based on a) true story. Continue reading Toronto Fringe Review: Charles Manson and Timothy Leary at Folsom Prison – Tarragon

Fringe Review: The Intrepid Project – Shoeless Productions

I enjoyed The Intrepid Project, which is playing at the BYOV Intrepid Travel.  Certainly not high-brow, and not perfect, but pretty darn funny.

To give you an idea of the type of show it is, my favourite part was a man clad in silver spandex shorts compulsively dancing whenever music was played.  The others dancing were fun too, but mr. silverpants, he was my favourite.  Time travel and silver spandex pants, what’s not to like?

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Toronto Fringe Review: AfterLife – Glen Morris Studio

By Dana Lacey

Friends by Dana Lacey

When I first read the synopsis of After Life, I thought, great, another one-grrl show. The plot sounded suspiciously like an after-school special: one woman (Candy Simmons) takes on three stereotypical roles: the childless 1920s midwife, the bubbly 50s homemaker, and the tightly wound modern-day film producer. I expected heavy-handed social commentary (my body’s nobody’s body but mine.) Thankfully, I was disappointed. The midwife is a murderer, the homemaker a secret yoga convert and the film producer, well she’s an asshole. Continue reading Toronto Fringe Review: AfterLife – Glen Morris Studio

Toronto Fringe Review: Fucking Stephen Harper

by Sam Mooney

Rob Salerno in Fucking Stephen Harper The full title of this show written and performed by Rob Salerno is Fucking Stephen Harper: How I Sexually Assaulted the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada and Where It Got Me.

Rob’s production company is Ten Foot Pole Productions – Ten Foot Pole Productions is a theatre company dedicated to telling stories about subjects that polite people wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. I wish I’d thought of that.

So, first a warning – if you’re homophobic and/or a big C conservative you’ll be offended by the show.

It was an inauspicious start. We were waiting for the house to open when they announced that there was a slight delay due to technical difficulties. A few minutes later the doors opened and we were asked to fill the seats from the front to the back because the projector wasn’t working and Rob was going to have to use the laptop. The poor man. Can you imagine having to do your amazing power point projection using a laptop – just the laptop, no projector?

Candy Simmons of Afterlife to the rescue! She fixed the projector and the show went on as planned.

Continue reading Toronto Fringe Review: Fucking Stephen Harper

Of The Fields Lately – Soulpepper at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts

July 2, 2009

By Kathy Morgan

Last night I went to see Soulpepper’s production of “Of the Fields Lately”, playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, and from the opening scene I was absolutely hooked.

Every once in a while, as theatre patrons, we are fortuitous enough to see a perfect combination of actor and role. I firmly believe that Kenneth Walsh was born to play Jacob Mercer. As a character full of temper and mood swings, it’s a tough part to maintain audience sympathy. However, Walsh is perfect, and I don’t use that word lightly. His charm and sincerity breaks our hearts as he attempts to navigate the world around him.

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Toronto Fringe Review – I Am Not Neil Young – Holy Joe's

By Dana Lacey

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Maybe it was the set adorned with a buffalo-themed throw, cowboy hat and totem pole, but I had a feeling I Am Not Neil Young at Holy Joe’s was going to be a source of great cheese. I wasn’t disappointed. I am Not Neil Young offers 60s ballads, group participation and Frank Wilkes with a huge, infectious smile who, after introducing himself, says ‘This is a story about transformation. But who will be transformed? You and or me?” So who is Frank Wilkes? He certainly isn’t Neil Young, but if you close your eyes while he’s singing it’s hard to tell the difference. Continue reading Toronto Fringe Review – I Am Not Neil Young – Holy Joe's