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Life @ the FRINGE

After the slew of film festivals that swept through Toronto, one after the other with no breaks in between, here cometh the Theatre Festivals. We start with the 2005 Fringe of Toronto Theatre Festival here starting today till July 17th.

This year's Fringe boasts 134 plays @ 25 venues around the city promising 1000+ unforgetting performances. I only recently got into theatre after being yanked out of a scriptwriting hiatus (re: writer's block) for Factory's CrossCurrents Festival earlier this year in April.

There seem to be some promising and rather entertaining pieces to note. Though with theatre, I'm beginning to think it's really hit or miss.

Some pieces that have caught my attention:

SARSical - Catch the fever in this musical comedy about how a lethal illness overblown by media reaction crippled the city's commercial theatre and local businesses. A homage and tribute to the frontline workers starring Second City Alumni directed by the Rumoli Brothers. $1.00 from each ticket sold will go to the Tecla Lin and Nelia Laroza Memorial Award fund, administered by the Canadian Nurses Foundation.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump - Both EYE and NOW give it a critic's choice and it was strongly recommended by a friend of mine who has a friend in it. A tangled story about how love, lonliness and fear weave webs through three lives.

Soap Opera - Boy loves girl, Girl loves boy, Enter other girl into the mix. What will happen next? Oooo ... let the drama enfold! I love me a continuing story with actors/characters talking aloud to themselves or talking to other characters and having full conversations without looking at them.

There are other plays including numerous Shakepeare spinoffs including Lust's Labour's Lost based on Love Labour's Lost, and Shakespeare NHL (National Hockey League).

Tickets are $10 in advance and at the door. Check the Fringe website, EYE or NOW for the full listing of plays including synopsis, previews, venues and times.


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