Fringe - Day 11
Okay folks, today's your last day to get out there and see some Fringe stuff.
If you have some favourites from the festival, I'd love it if you could leave them in the comments so that other folks may be able to take some time to check them out today.
Keep reading for reviews of Floozy: The Musical, Lost Daughter, What the Hell, and Wild About Harry. There is also a listing of the Patron's Picks.
Okay, I admit it, I'm a fan of bawdy humour. Make lots of sex joke and I'll be on-side. Except, well, there has to be more to it than just the sex jokes.
Floozy: The Musical was fun, but felt for all the world like something you would see at a high school production, only with swearing and sex talk and songs like 'jism'. Partway through I realized that I kind of felt like improve, which would be okay, if it were improve, but it wasn't. So, instead it felt unpolished and incomplete.
Don't get me wrong, there were laughs to be had, and songs to tap your feet to, but nothing about the show grabbed me. It seemed I was in the minority though, because others in the audience were busing a gut, and the show in the end got a standing ovation, so really, what the heck do I know?
For some reason reading about this show I thought that it was going to be about the Christie Pits Riot in the 30's, instead the riots make a brief appearance to provide some context of the times.
That said, even though the subject matter wasn't quite what I expected, I really did enjoy it. I don't know what the audiences have been like before this, but the house was full, and the venue holds 250, which is a damn good turn out for Fringe.
It was a really solid production, good script, good actors, good energy. It worked as a very traditional narrative play. My one complaint was the black-outs between EVERY scene. They were abrupt and unnecessary and really broke things up. In fact (I can't believe I'm admitting this to the world) but the end, they were actively angering me. I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish, but I surely would have enjoyed the play far more without them. Last night was the last show, but if it's ever remounted check it out, it's worth your time. Plus, maybe if it's remounted they'll take out the bloody blackouts.
What the Hell Am I Doing?
(reviewed by Tatiana Kachira)
It's a good question. What the Hell Am I Doing does not answer it or even attempt to answer it - but it has fun along the way. While the play lacks much depth, it has length (by Fringe standards, anyway - 75 minutes), and it is paced well enough and presented well enough that I never found myself wondering when it would be over already. Even despite the fairly uncomfortable seating in the tiny room it's staged in.
It's nothing spectacular, but it's energetic, jovial and good for a few laughs. If you want a few sketches from the life of the modern teen, and you are not turned off by people saying "Oh my God!" a little too often, What the Hell will do the job.
Not only did this one get 'patron's pick' for it's venue (the Helen Gardiner Theatre), but it was also a sold-out house last night for the 11pm show. Let me tell ya, it sure sets up some high expectations.
The first thing that's important to point out is that this is not a play, it's a musical revue, so don't go expecting plot or through-story. This is a tribute to Harry Warren, who was prolific, but not as well known as his contemporaries (think Gershwin and Cole Porter). Still, you'll have a hard time not singing along to songs like "We're in the Money", "42nd Street", and "Chattanooga Choo Choo".
The show was a lot of fun. I got more into it as time went on, by the end I was dancing in my seat. I have to say that Banner Isaac stole the show. He wasn't just singing, he was acting, and to top it off his dancing was a joy to watch.
Over all, if you're looking for a deep intellectually stimulating show, this isn't for you, but if you're looking for a fun toe-tapping romp, be sure to check this one out.
The following productions have an extra performance on July 13.
- Between Commutes, 6 PM, St. Vladimirs Theatre (review from the Toronto Star)
- One Woman Show, 9:15 PM, Robert Gill Theatre (reviewed on blogTO)
- The Movies (Abridged), 6:45 PM, Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (review from Fast Forward)
- Domestic, 7:30 PM, Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (review from NOW)
- Nursery School Musical, 9:15 PM , Factory Main (review from EYE WEEKLY)
- Mr. Fox, 6:45 PM, Factory Studio (review from EYE WEEKLY)
- Bluebeard, 9:15 PM, Tarragon Main (reviewed on blogTO)
- Wake, 6:45 PM, Tarragon Extra (review from Nestruck on Theatre)
- Gameshow: The Musical, 9:15 PM, Royal St. George (Review from the Toronto Star)
- Damages, 6:15 PM, George Ignateiff (reviewed on blogTO)
- Wild About Harry, 9:15 PM, Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse (reviewed in blogTO - the last review in this article)
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