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Theatre Reviews

It’s Thurs­day after­noon and so far I’ve seen 45 Fringe shows. I’ve had a few real­ly good days at the Fringe and a few mediocre days. Here is my own per­son­al top ten list of my favourite Fringe shows.

1. Mon­i­ca vs. The Inter­net: Tales of a Social Jus­tice War­rior (Venue 11) — It’s real­ly hard to tell a sto­ry about racism with­out sound­ing preachy. But Mon­i­ca Ogden’s per­son­al sto­ries are pow­er­ful. And she shows how lit­tle the world is will­ing to change.

2. Pal­abra Fla­men­co: Fox Woman 

(Venue 12) — Incred­i­ble gui­tar play­ing and live­ly tap danc­ing bring to life this folk tale about a woman and a hunter.

3. Diary of a Mon­ster Kid (Venue 26) — A ten year old boy dis­cov­ers his pas­sion for hor­ror movies. The show is full of fun­ny sto­ries about grow­ing up.

4. El Dia­blo of the Cards (Venue 5) — El Dia­blo oozes ener­gy in this hour of card tricks. I have nev­er seen a magi­cian con­nect so well with an audi­ence.

5. The 500 List (Venue 25) — A beau­ti­ful sto­ry about the joy of trav­el­ing with friends to new places and meet­ing new peo­ple. And Ryan Adam Wells’ songs nice­ly com­ple­ment his sto­ries.

6. Com­man­do: The Radio Play (Venue 11) — The Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger action movie is mag­i­cal­ly trans­formed into a radio play, with actors read­ing off scripts and live sound effects. The actors do a ter­rif­ic job with dif­fer­ent voic­es and the sound effects are incred­i­bly inven­tive. Pure fun.

7. Strokes of Genius (Venue 23) — A dark com­e­dy about two stroke sur­vivors reha­bil­i­tat­ing in our health care sys­tem. It’s not only very fun­ny, but I kept ask­ing myself Did they real­ly say that?“

8. THREE (Venue 23) — Anoth­er ter­rif­ic move­ment piece from this tal­ent­ed trio. I loved how this group con­veys ten­sion not only with their faces but also their bod­ies.

9. The ADHD Project (Venue 7) — A sto­ry about a young child grow­ing up with atten­tion deficit dis­or­der that man­ages to be both fun­ny and life affirm­ing.

10. Pull Your­self Togeth­er (Venue 8) — A dance show that is full of atti­tude and pokes fun at the idea a woman needs make­up to be beau­ti­ful.

Bonus Shows

There are a cou­ple of bonus shows hap­pen­ing this week at Wee John­ny’s. Sto­ry­teller J.D. Renaud is per­form­ing a show full of sto­ries that did­n’t appear in his pre­vi­ous shows tonight at mid­night (sug­gest­ed price $10). Also, Jay & Eytan are pre­sent­ing a bonus show Sat­ur­day at 11:30 pm (tick­ets $10).

Respect­ing the Audi­ence

Yes­ter­day, dur­ing his one-per­son com­e­dy How I Killed My Nan, per­former Dion Arnold warned the audi­ence that we’ve reached the sched­uled show length of one hour. He fur­ther added that there is about 12 min­utes left in the show, but if you need to leave to catch anoth­er show, he will not be offend­ed. Only one per­son left. I’ve nev­er seen a per­former do that, but that is a won­der­ful touch, because Fringe shows are tight­ly sched­uled and some peo­ple have their next show start­ing short­ly after their pre­vi­ous one ends.

Quote of the Day
In Toron­to, every­body likes cof­fee, the Rap­tors and not being able to afford real estate.“From Bad Baby Presents: Rules Con­trol the Fun (Venue 3).


That con­cludes our Fringe cov­er­age on umfm​.com. I hope you’ve found our reviews help­ful. Enjoy the last four days of the Fringe and we will see you next year.