Week two of the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival. *phew*
We’ve finished reviewing all the shows (except the two that requested no reviews). And now you have a list of 148 reviews you can read through. You may have noticed some have a little thing next to them that says ‘Rave Review!’ So what’s that about?
We very purposefully don’t use a star rating system here at Mooney on Theatre (but if we did, surely they’d be moons, yes?). We believe that a review only captures one person’s opinion, and my 5-star review might be someone else’s 3-star review, and with so many writers covering Fringe, there would be no way to provide consistency in those ratings.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with star ratings, I just made a decision a long time ago that they don’t fit in with Mooney on Theatre’s approach to things. During Fringe though, when there are so many reviews to read through, we needed something to let readers see at a glance which shows writers are raving about.
This week we’ll be taking some time to highlight those shows; starting right now.
Drink of Choice (HollyWould Productions)
What it’s about: “You walk into a bar, someone comes to take your order, and what happens next is your choice. Join us at the bar for a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure storytelling experience where the drink you order leads to personal tales about sexuality, romance, and total loss of reality. A hilarious solo show about what it means to be asexual as you navigate dating and seeking connection. ”
Why our reviewer loved it: “Performed and written by Holly Wyder, it’s a story of love, sex, (a)sexuality, heartbreak, communication, mental health, self doubt, and occasional but unmistakable filaments of self-love set in a frame of coming to terms with (and trying to explain) her asexual identity. … Wyder, as both a writer and performer, has tremendous range – there’s really no other word for it. In Drink Of Choice she’s ten pounds of feelings in a five-pound sack, but all of the feelings are interesting, if sometimes exhausting.”
Fox Woman (Palabra Flamenco)
What it’s about: “A lonely hunter meets a mysterious and powerful fox woman. Before the West cultivated hatred of the wild, there was a love affair. Flamenco artists, dancer Denise Yeo and guitarist Gareth Owen, retell this Siberian myth through hypnotic and improvised speech and rhythm.”
Why our reviewer loved it: “I was utterly floored by the skills on display in this show. Denise Yeo was fabulous, giving a performance was at times playful, and other times quite intense. It was always captivating. Owen’s skill on the guitar was phenomenal. … Together, the dance and song helped me to connect with the Fox Woman and the folk story at its core in a way that few shows ever have.”
Molly Bloom (Fourth Gorgon Theatre)
What it’s about: “Molly Bloom is an original adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses’ final chapter. Four actors collectively play the consciousness of Molly Bloom as she lies awake in bed in this sensual and shocking exploration of one woman’s psyche. As the four women move and speak as one, Joyce’s infamous soliloquy is refashioned into a four person one-woman show. Molly Bloom is a fascinating, vivacious, and hilarious race through one hour of unrelenting thought.”
Why our reviewer loved it: “From the opening scene through to the very end of the play, the cast of four are entirely spellbinding. Cloaked in nighttime robes, they move together with an eerie synchronicity. In perfect unison, they crawl, they dance, they delight, they erupt.”
Tita Jokes (Tita Collective)
What it’s about: “Meet the Spice Girls of Comedy with a Filipina Twist. They sing, they dance, and they’re going to make you snort-laugh halo-halo through your nose! Join the Toronto SketchFest 2019 Producers’ Pick winners, the Tita Collective, for a musical sketch comedy spectacle to remember. TITA POWER!”
Why our reviewer loved it: “Tita Jokes is a must-see of the Fringe. It allows space to educate while challenging controversial material in a hysterical way. Tita Jokes is an exquisite, hilarious, multi-layered spectacle.”