Friendly Fire: The Art and Execution of Friendship is playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival and it’s great fun to see.
Produced by The League of Extraordinary People on the Gender Spectrum, the show is a sketch revue that covers a lot of ground, and manages to touch on a myriad of topical issues, most of which center around friendship (under fire). There are lessons on why ghosting your friends (and pets) is bad, Grindr mishaps and how to bounce back from sharing things that cannot be unseen, the struggle to keep your plants alive, how to peacefully coexist with bloodsucking misogynists, and more.
Their sketches were wonderfully original, and many made me laugh out loud. While not every sketch worked for me, the vast majority of them did. The cast (of ten!) was a joy to watch, featuring Jeannie Di Giacomo, Jeff Donaldson, Kyah Green, Devan Islas, Stephanie Malek, Rob Michaels, MK Morris, AJ Paluzzi, Cam Parkes and Jenny Pullon. While the cast was solid all around, Di Giacomo and Morris were especially hilarious. Hats off to Director Kyle Dooley and Stage Manager Sam Polito, who expertly managed such a large troupe. Their costumes were terrific and their costume changes were plentiful and rapid fire. Their Musical Director, Nicole Byblow, was a star in my eyes. Byblow played the piano on stage throughout the show, heightening the drama and cheekiness, tenfold.
While I had plenty of laughs, my favourite moments of the night included: a plant trying to escape a near death experience, a commercial for Buddies-For-Hire, a scribe trying to dodge hanging out with a knight, a Julie Andrews song battle, and an aspiring witch struggling to make it.
Friendly Fire: The Art and Execution of Friendship felt like a warm embrace. There’s lots of laughs, lots of heart, and a handful of musical numbers. Go forth and enjoy!
- Friendly Fire: The Art and Execution of Friendship plays at the Robert Gill Theatre. (214 College St.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (275 Bathurst St.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Content Warnings: mature language; gunshots; sexual content; not recommended for children.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible through usage of a painfully slow elevator. We recommend making sure you arrive a few minutes early.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- The Toronto Fringe Festival is scent-free: please do not wear perfumes, colognes, or other strongly-scented products.
- Thursday July 4th, 8:30 pm
- Saturday July 6th, 1:00 pm
- Monday July 8th, 4:15 pm
- Wednesday July 10th, 7:45 pm
- Thursday July 11th, 10:45 pm
- Friday July 12th, 2:45 pm
- Sunday July 14th, 4:00 pm
Photo provided by the company, designed by Cole Menessa-Rafla