Damages (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

Review by Megan Mooney

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Review of Damages(Note:  This is a longer version of my write-up on blogTO. The blogTO write ups include write-ups from multiple reviewers on multiple shows, check them out!)

I think this is a good play, but not executed as well as it could be. The two main actors in the show are veteran actors, I would put money on most people recognizing them. But there was something missing.

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The Swearing Jar – 6AM Tango (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

 

swearjar The production I saw of The Swearing Jar got better as it went along. Its story follows the life of young woman named Carey through her first pregnancy and events surrounding the unexpected death of her husband Simon. Like a couple of other members of the audience I spoke with after the show, I left wondering if The Swearing Jar had been based on real events.

The most significant details about the pregnancy and death – Simon has died of a burst aneurysm his doctor was reluctant to treat because of his age – sounded real to me. I was also convinced by an explanation of why Simon had kept his condition a secret.

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Dear God. Apparently the Toronto Fringe is taking over my life

So, I’m doing Fringe planning right now.  For two sites actually, the Mooney on Theatre coverage, as well as the blogTO coverage.

I just counted up the shows I’m planning to go to at this point and I’m at 48 shows, and I fully intend on going to more once I see where the gaps in coverage are.  So, we’ll have to see if my brain turns to ooze, or if it all excites me so much I can’t sleep.

Only time will tell.  *grin*

An Inconvenient Musical – The Inconvenient Theatre Co.

 

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An Inconvenient Musical made me feel great. It was like a great episode of The Simpsons. There were a lot of good vibes coming from the stage.

The plot is a spoof on the 2007 documentary of a similar title that follows Al Gore as he gives a presentation on global warming. In this version, the former VP has decided that PowerPoint just isn’t powerful enough. He is instead harnessing the most powerful medium he knows: musical theatre. Imagine all those slides now as sketches in musical theatre. All loosely strung together as examples of the consequences of global warming. An Inconvenient Musical isn’t serious in the slightest, but for me was at least as effective – if not more effective – than the source material it spoofs.

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Veronica Decides To Die – Darkroom Theatre Projects

 

I found myself deeply divided watching Veronica Decides To Die. I was turned-on by the production’s use of video, music, movement and songs, but I was turned-off by its long tracts of exposition.

A friend of mine hit it on the head at intermission when she said that the things that she liked most about this show were also the things she enjoyed the least. What we both really enjoyed was – foremost – how the show was an exaggeration of life through the use of live video of the action onstage.

The staging was engaging, and the performances, including a few bars of an opera, and whole lot of movement – everything from fighting to dancing – kept things going.

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Toronto Fringe – is it only as good as the available information?

by Megan Mooney

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Okay, so, I’ve already mentioned that I’m excited about the Fringe.  But, as I sit down to do my Fringe planning I find myself tempted to pull all the hair out of my head strand by strand.  The problem?  The Fringe website.

In a little over a week, a huge theatre festival will take place in 30 venues across Toronto.  An interesting side note, something I just noticed while counting out venues, there is no venue 13.  Theatre people a superstitious bunch?  No no, not us!  Right, sorry, back on track.  30 venues across the city, showing 150 shows.  Without a doubt the biggest theatre festival in Toronto, and this year is the 20th anniversary.

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