13 July 2008

Fringe of Toronto Reviews

I am writing (at least a short) review for every piece I am seeing during the festival. Here's the list of all plays and show times. So you can watch pieces that I have made you curious about. By the way, here's the link to Eye Weekly's reviews.

Note: Some shows I like so much that I am planning to see them again towards the end of the festival. To friends of mine: please join me for any of those. You won't be disappointed. (I also want to see the Patron's Picks, if I can get tickets for them.)

Thursday, 3rd July: I am starting slowly with my first volunteering shift and only one show watched.
  • "Crude Love": it's romantic, it's passionate, it's realistic and imaginative. I liked the play, the atmosphere and the acting. Very sensitive show.
Friday, 4rd July: no volunteer shift, much time to see shows.
  • "Death to Dating": not as sensitive a show, but good acting and nice singing. For those who don't need their entertainment to be as profound.
  • "We is Blunderstruck" hilarious gig on a sad occasion, hard rock performed by excellent actors and musicians. Except for the flute but that had to be in. 60 minutes of pure fun and excitement!
  • "The Tricky Part": story of a catholic boy that has been sexually abused, written in first person perspective, read by another catholic. Personally, I found the acting quite superfluous because the words say it all. When the performer came on stage and said "Hi" with a big smile, I already knew he is going to preach to his audience. That's what happened, but it's still a very touching preaching, based on a real story.
Saturday, 5th of July: on this day I tried some shows which hadn't got any good reviews yet.
  • "Cage without a key": dialogue turning in circles, story full of clichés, actors marching back and forth... but at least the whore was cute.
  • "The Reservation": superb dance, but don't expect a story line
  • "The Pharmaceutical Affair": for Tintin fans and people who can stand Tintin's insanely high-pitch voice. I liked the French parts though.
  • "Sherlock Holmes and the First English Gentleman": very good play setting us back in the Victorian Age where our detective hero has to solve a case that links back to his own forgotten past. Excellent performance with thrilling story and wonderful acting.
Sunday, 6th of July: an early afternoon shift allowed me to see two shows to get the day started...
  • "Mating Rituals of the Urban Cougar" one hour of songs and poems presented by a poet performer with a wonderful voice.
  • "The Honeymoon Period is officially over": one woman plays a couple, their aunt and uncle, their cat and hamster and a long forgotten friend. Awesome show about the reality of relationships which is full of hilarious moments.
  • "Silver and Stinky" must-see, of course, for serious cyclists. Also very good and sensitive play, a little melancholic, but not lacking joy. The actors fit very well into their roles.
Monday: my head is spinning; I need a break from this.

Tuesday: more break please

Wednesday: I had a shift, but didn't see any shows.

Thursday: with an appointment for a show I got started for the final rounds and then saw another one during my shift.
  • "A mirror up to Nature": much text and a little hard for me to follow. the parts that I understood were very good. I loved his rendition of Shylock's famous monologue which he had introduced by telling the long story which apparently had Shakespeare inspired to the merchant of Venice. this was awesome!
  • "The Spy": very nice one-man spy-story. I missed much of the British accent lines and also didn't get all of the mimic stories, but otherwise it was at least as fun as watching a James Bond movie.
Friday: no shows, just work and sailing.

  • "Lupe: Undone" chatting with the audience about life and love in her bedroom and a dark alleyway. I loved how she integrated audience members into her show!
  • I also saw "Blunderstruck" again.
  • "Wild About Harry": I had expected a musical and all I got was a long sequence of songs that sounded all the same to me. But the friend I brought really liked it.
That's it now. The Fringe 2008 is over. Jack Sparrow goes back to sailing.


Anonymous said...

If you have time, I highly recommend Kaliban -- it's about Shakespeare's Kaliban and what happens to him after The Tempest is over, and it's freakin' hilarious!

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