Toronto Fringe 2007 - The Popcorn Show; Hot Pink Bits and The History of Stripping

If you've been thinking you'd like to check out some theatre while the Fringe is on, but can't seem to come up with the $10 for a ticket, I have some good news for you...

The Fringe Club is located at 292 Brunswick Avenue and has a nightly cabaret for free. It includes interviews with performers, 'trailers' of shows, and a good dose of improv comedy. So, it's a night of entertainment at no cost, plus, if you want to, you get to schmooze with the performers and find out what life is like for a fringe performer.

For those of you who have the $10 to spend, below there are write-ups of The Popcorn Show; Hot Pink Bits and The History of Stripping.

The Popcorn Show - Tarragon Theatre Mainspace - 30 Bridgman Avenue
For me this show was a perfect example of "one person's trash is another's treasure". I'm not saying the show was trash, but it really wasn't my thing. It was sketch comedy, but filled with one-liners and absurdity. But, even though it wasn't my thing, there was someone sitting in front of me who I thought was going to pass out they were laughing so hard. It was very much their thing.

Hot Pink Bits - Theatre Passe Murialle - 16 Ryerson Avenue
This is the kind of piece where the audience can make or break the show. Penny Ashton does a great job of trying to draw the audience in, and is certainly a dynamic performer, but if the audience isn't into it then I'm not sure it would work. That said, it's a great show, and a hoot and a half. My suggestion is that you go to this show, but go with a big group of rowdy friends so that you don't have to rely on the people around you to keep things hoppin', you can just do it yourselves.

The History of Stripping - Tarragon Theatre Extra Space - 30 Bridgman Avenue
I'm not really sure what I expected this show to be, but I wasn't expecting the post-modern feminist take on stripping, that was an interesting surprise. The show asks a lot of intriguing questions, and I have to say, as I was watching I found myself answering each of them in my head. There were fun playful moments throughout the show, which was a nice mix with the though-provoking subject matter. Even though the show is billed as a one-woman show, there are in-the-background players who don't have the spotlight, but who set the stage in a great way, which oddly enough added up to one of the big strengths of this show being the ensemble. The way the people on stage interact added a dimension to the show that could not have existed with a sole performer.

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