Toronto Fringe 2007 - Mrs. Warren's Profession; Shiksas Sit Shiva; and Expiry Dating
Well, here's something that may seem pretty obvious, but it also might be worth a reminder. All fringe shows start right on time. And, the times change from day to day. I point this out because I ended up missing a show because it alternates start times daily between 7pm and 8pm and I apparently can't read a program. Which means, that through reading it wrong, I showed up at 8pm for a 7pm show. Which means, I didn't get a chance to see Omigod the musical.
Oh well, never fear, there are other shows. Below you'll find write-ups on Mrs. Warren's Profession; Shiksas Sit Shiva; and Expiry Dating.
Mrs. Warren's Profession - Hart House Music Room - 7 Hart House Circle (U of T)
This performance of Bernard Shaw's classic play is quite easily the best show I've seen at the Fringe so far, held at unquestionably the worst venue. The actors from Burning Passions Theatre are a delight to watch... that is, when you can see them. Unfortunately unless you are in the first couple of rows or an NBA player, you'll see nothing but backs of people's heads for much of the evening: the stage and all the chairs happen to be on the same level. I estimate at least half of the spectators at the sold-out opening night were not spectators so much as listeners. As much as I appreciate the witty dialogue in this delightful Shaw's play, I'd still like be able to, you know, watch the actors act. If that's something you'd like to be able to do too, I recommend coming to this show very early and being the first one in line to grab one of those coveted front-row spots. Then I predict you will enjoy this great production immensely. Otherwise - tough luck.
Shiksas Sit Shiva - Royal St. George's Theatre - 120 Howland Avenue
Shiksas Sit Shiva (Non-Jewish Females Sitting in Mourning) is crisp story of a family dealing with the death of their patriarch. We have three daughters-in-law, the eldest daughter and the widowed girlfriend--all portrayed by a brilliant cast--trying to mourn as each individual requires, while coping with the obligations of an unfamiliar religion. The writing, direction, choreography and acting are tight. Kudos to everyone, including designers and crew!
Expiry Dating - Tarragon Theatre Extra Space - 30 Bridgman Avenue
This show follows a couple as they move through their relationship, through the make out every few seconds stage to the haven't had sex in ages stage. It's full of laughs and the sold-out house sure seemed to enjoy the show. I would absolutely recommend it to friends, nothing deep or earth shattering, but I certainly enjoyed it. I'm not saying the show was perfect, it was a bit too long, which made it drag a bit in parts, but this is the Fringe, testing things out is part of what it's all about. I hope this show has a subsequent production where it can build on the success of this one, and have the opportunity to tighten things up a bit. But really, there's no need to wait until then, it's fully enjoyable now.
~ Megan Mooney
photo of Alison Broverman and Mark Andrada of Expiry Dating
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