(reviewed by by Graeme Stewart):
In this one-man show, writer and performer Barry Smith takes the audience through his drug-addled, punk-infused itinerant adolescence. No question, Smith is a superb storyteller. With a mastery of powerpoint-style presentation and a penchant for self-documentation, he takes the audience on a funny and occasionally poignant journey. The show is all about Smith, and walks a knife-edge just shy of self-indulgence. But to his credit, Smith never mines his experiences for grand morals. It's a good story, well told, with a little multimedia thrown in for good measure.
American Squatter is playing at the Factory Theatre Mainspace July 6, 7, 9,10, 11, 12. For more info see the Toronto Fringe website.
Continue reading for reviews of Another Problem With H-Theorem, Babies in Danger, The Christian Republican Fundraiser in Dayton Tennessee, DAM Madness, Dogs Barking, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Abortion, Jew for a Day, Pokeroot and Mistletoe.
And the Fringe, ladies and gentlemen, is upon us! We are presenting you with our first batch of reviews from the very first day of the festival:
Adam Growe's The Mom and Pop Shop
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this show, but whatever I expected, this wasn't it. The show is essentially a one-hour stand-up comedy routine with some elements of a play, not the full-on one-man show I expected. It was good stand-up, not a surprise really, since Adam Growe is a veteran stand-up comic.
Oh, and don't worry, you don't have to have had kids to appreciate this (as evidenced by me), but I bet you appreciate it on a whole different level if you do have them. Kids or no kids, if you're looking for some good laughs, check this one out. Oh, and just so that you can gauge how busy it might be, tonight's show was sold-out, which I think is pretty rare for a show on the first night of Fringe.
"Adam Growe's The Mom and Pop Shop" plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace July 5, 7, 10, 12, 13. Check the Fringe site for details on show times.
by Megan Mooney
After the jump are reviews for "Nan Loves Jerry", "Phat Love and The Thin Girl", "Rum and Vodka", and "Wooster Sauce".
This week marks the start of that annual July frenzy known as the Fringe Festival. Between tomorrow and Sunday, July 13 Torontonians will get a chance to see about 150 shows held in 30 downtown venues. Among the performers are seasoned Fringers, coming back to sold-out shows and enthusiastic fans, as well as new theatre companies just getting their feet wet. No doubt it's the same with show-goers: I'm sure some of you have been at it for years, and for some it's going to be the first ever Fringe season (oh goodie, trust me, you are in for a real treat!).
Whichever category you fall into, keep an eye out for our daily Fringe reviews and previews to help you with your play selection. After all it is no easy task, given how many shows there are to choose from (no wonder the gentleman in the photograph looks slightly overwhelmed upon surveying only a sample of last year's Fringe offerings). Fortunately, every Fringe show runs for several days (some even manage a performance every day of the festival), so if you like what one of our reviewers said about a production, you'll likely still be able to catch it.
When you're choosing your shows, I urge to not stop at just a couple. Go for at least a handful. At $10 per ticket (even less if you get a pass), Fringe shows are pretty affordable, and, undeniably, a huge part of the Festival's appeal is variety.
Photo: Fringe Board (2) by jbcurio.
A year an a half ago Robert Ouellette of Reading Toronto publically stated something Torontonians knew for many years: the TTC website is an unspeakably ugly, utterly useless and ultimately user-unfriendly monstrosity that should have been put out of its misery umpty years ago.
And so, he offered the TTC a challenge of redesigning their website with the help of Toronto bloggers and their communities. They (and we) all jumped at the opportunity. blogTO, Torontoist, Spacing and other T.O. blogs, message boards and chat rooms logged dozens of comments suggesting improvements to the TTC website: implement a trip planner, make navigation more intuitive, and PLEASE no more scrolling announcements!
TTC Chair Adam Giambrone accepted the challenge, and today the TTC let the media take a sneak peek at their new site. Read on to find out about the new design and features soon to come!
So, what do the people of Toronto believe should be stopped?