Rum And Vodka – Cart/Horse Theatre (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

Review by Adam Collier

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Rum And Vodka felt like watching a really good episode of The Sopranos. The writing is terrific. The acting is excellent. Though the comparison also hints at what I felt was a flaw. I felt a safe detachment from what was going on; the action was on a very high level of entertainment but didn’t trigger emotions for me.

At the same though, to say I was curious about what was going to happen is a huge understatement.

Continue reading Rum And Vodka – Cart/Horse Theatre (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

Just Another School Shooting – Moncton NB Theatre Group (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

Review by Adam Collier

image Through the second-half of Just Another School Shooting I just listened with my head-hung. I felt so disappointed.

To be fair, the title offers a clue about the content. The first two words hint at a glib treatment of its subject. I didn’t pick-up on this before going in though. And I’m still not sure if the writing was intentionally bad – mocking its subject – or sincere but poor (or maybe a bit of both).

Continue reading Just Another School Shooting – Moncton NB Theatre Group (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

Silver And Stinky – By over-the-edge productions (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

Review by Adam Collier

image Silver And Stinky was circled in my Fringe guide, because its characters are bike couriers in Toronto. Couriers always seem effortlessly cool and casual to me, intimidating too. They would seem to be great material for a play.

Silver And Stinky just wasn’t that play for me.

I didn’t get the courier vibe at all from Silver (played by Carly Chamberlain). She’s cool and casual, and pretty – I’m sure she could talk to a bike courier any time she wants – but even with a bit of lingo (that the playbill seems to grant far more significance than is merited) I wasn’t convinced.

Continue reading Silver And Stinky – By over-the-edge productions (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

American Squatter by Barry Smith (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

by Sam Mooney

american-squatter I think I’d go see Barry Smith read the phone book as long as he had a Powerpoint presentation with it.  He’s a Powerpoint genius.  He also had the foresight to save the home movies and tape recordings he made when he was a child. Thank you Barry.

American Squatter is an autobiographical monologue that follows Barry the child from his home in Mississippi to his new home in Southern California to his life as a squatter in London in the late 80s.  Sort of a coming of age with the help of skateboarding, drugs, and music monologue interspersed with home movies and videos.

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A Girl Named Ralph – Toronto Fringe 2008 Review

Review by Fredde Clarke

Editor’s Note:  In the review of Sherlock Holmes & The First English Gentleman by Sam Mooney she mentioned that she saw the show with "My 82 year old mother and 15 year old niece are fringing with me for three days" – Fredde Clarke is the 82 year old mother she was referring to. 

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I came from Eastern Ontario to see 4 plays in the Toronto Fringe Festival – The only one I specifically chose that I really wanted to see was A Girl Named Ralph.  I certainly was not disappointed.

The piece was so obviously true life.  Makes one feel both happy, and a little sad.  It was not a long play, but a most enjoyable one.

The fade outs could have been much shorter, either just a dim out, or stop action while Ralph came in to speak.  I enjoyed the players and have no real criticism of any of the acting.

 

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Teaching the Fringe – Toronto Fringe 2008 Review

Review by Lauren Hatchard  (Megan Mooney’s 15 yr old cousin)

image A deep plunge into the pool of laughs and hysterics.  Teaching the Fringe goes into and analyses a letter from an appalled fan.

Using voices, facial expressions and twinges of words and irony, the show satisfies your laugh craving.  The only thing I didn’t like about this play was that it was a tad drowned out.  Otherwise, a must-see for those who are looking for an amazingly timed, easy laugh.

 Teaching the Fringe is playing at the Glen Morris Theatre for one more day on Saturday, July 12.  For more info see the Toronto Fringe website.

Sherlock Holmes & The First English Gentleman – Another perspective

Review by Lauren Hatchard

Editor’s Note:  In the review of Sherlock Holmes & The First English Gentleman by Sam Mooney she mentioned that she saw the show with "My 82 year old mother and 15 year old niece are fringing with me for three days" – Lauren is the 15 year old niece she was referring to.  And now, without further ado, on with the review (see how that rhymed?  pretty cool eh?)…

From the perspective of three generations, this play could have been worse, it could have been better.  Sherlock Holmes & The First English Gentleman has potential, but also a broad area with room to improve (including cutting the painful chant at the beginning.)  It also had a plethora of humorous moments.

Continue reading Sherlock Holmes & The First English Gentleman – Another perspective

Toronto Fringe 2008 Recommendations (the short version)

I have been seeing so many shows that I haven’t had time to spend on my site.  It’s both wonderful and sad at the same time.  But tomorrow (Thursday) I have arranged it so that I’m not going to my first show until late afternoon, so I’ll be spending the majority of the day at Jet Fuel sipping lattes and pulling together content for this baby.  I figured in the meantime though I’d reprint some of the reviews I’ve done for blogTO for the shows I highly recommend, since we’re running out of time for the festival.  Please note, this is only a selection out of what *I* have seen.  So I am no doubt missing some great shows in this list.

Keep reading for reviews re-posted from blogTO of:

– A Girl Named Ralph

– Exploding Breakfast

– JEM ROLLS: how i stopped worrying and learnt to love the mall

– One-Woman Show

– Stand up Monkey Poet

– Teaching the Fringe

Continue reading Toronto Fringe 2008 Recommendations (the short version)

Jem Rolls – how i stopped worrying and learnt to love the mall by jem rolls (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

jem-rolls First – go see Jem Rolls.  Even if you have to skip something else. 

His show is an hour of high-energy, full-body "theatricalised performance poetry".  I had no idea what that meant when I read the blurb in the program but it sounded interesting so I went with no expectations. 

 

 

Continue reading Jem Rolls – how i stopped worrying and learnt to love the mall by jem rolls (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)