Parallel Play is a dynamic sketch comedy show starring Elvira Kurt and Megan Fahlenbock playing at Tarragon Extraspace at the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival. The show simulates the cycle of life; it begins with a scene in vitro and ends with the death of ‘Brain’. Parallel Play is whip smart, achingly neurotic and unequivocally hilarious.
The show tackles the concepts of proper parenthood and the role of the grandmother among the privileged class in Toronto. It challenges gender binaries, partnership expectations, and the symbiotic, though often dysfunctional relationship between the heart and the brain.
Elvira Kurt is excellent as a hands-on mom, a lesbian dad, a disenchanted grandmother from the Eastern Bloc, a petulant teen and her charming neurotic self. Megan Fahlenbock is excellent as a career-oriented mother, a Rosedale sexagenarian with a mouthful of Restylane and a protective Supermom. She is full of heart as ‘Heart’ and herself.
All of the scenes are at least good and a majority of them are excellent. There is a great mix of comedy dependent on the physical as well as the written word. It’s hard to pick favourites but if pressed, I’d choose the scene in which two mothers battle for supremacy at Cineplex’s Movies for Mommies, Megan’s desired conversation in a casting room, Elvira’s desired conversation with her therapist and a couple’s foreplay routine on television night.
I love how natural the two performers are and how wonderful the director Linda Kash makes them look. I have a weak spot for feminist comedy and this show more than satisfies. Parallel Play is my favourite Fringe show so far this year and I have no doubt it will remain at the top of my list for the next nine days. And that’s a rave!
Parallel Play plays at the Tarragon Extraspace. (30 Bridgman Ave.)
July 04 at 08:45 PM
July 05 at 12:00 PM
July 06 at 05:15 PM
July 09 at 01:45 PM
July 10 at 04:00 PM
July 11 at 11:30 PM
July 13 at 07:30 PM
Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West). Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details.
LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.
Photo of Megan Fahlenbock and Elvira Kurt provided by Parallel Play Productions