All posts by Lin Young

Lin Young is a PhD candidate in the English Department at Queen’s University by day, an insatiable theatre-goer by night. She truly loves seeing innovative indie theatre, the strange sort of hole-in-the-wall shows that big companies would never take a risk on. She’s seen plays in basements, gardens, bars, and in old dilapidated houses, to name a few. She’s always on the lookout for the next theatrical experiment in the city, and loves seeing shows that have some quality of fantasy, historicity, or strangeness to them – especially if they involve puppets! She tweets about theatre, comics and the 19th century at @linkeepsitreal.

July 11 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

image saying daily raves

Week two of the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival is upon us, and we’re counting up our rave reviews from our hard-won list of 149 reviews of the entire (review-eligible) festival! Plenty of those shows have been marked as RAVES by our reviewers, and we’re here today to highlight a few more of them!

What’s a rave, you might ask? Simply put: our reviewer loved it. Sometimes a rave is ‘I’d see that a second, third, fourth time’; sometimes a rave is ‘I’m STILL thinking about this show days later’; sometimes it’s as simple as ‘I had a really fabulous time at this show.’

Really, it’s all subjective, because theatre is subjective. These raves caught our reviewers’ attention, though–perhaps they’ll snag yours as well?

Continue reading July 11 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

The Ashes of Forgotten Rain – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

The Ashes of Forgotten Rain

A Pretentious Comedy About Backstage Drama

The Ashes of Forgotten Rain is a story about the true indie theatre experience: taking yourself too seriously. It’s a pretentious story about being pretentious. A deep dive into shallow waters. A feminist perspective written by a man. The Ashes of Forgotten Rain is a fast-paced, hard-hitting comedy for anyone who loves the theatre and is willing to laugh at themselves for it.

Norman Hussey, co-founder of Missed Metaphor Productions, wrote The Ashes of Forgotten Rain as a reaction to his own experiences in the indie theatre world. He takes the piss out of theatre while showcasing his love for it. Missed Metaphor Productions is a company made up of theatregoers, writers, directors, artists, performers, and crew who seek to create and produce original Canadian theatre.

Featuring Jennifer Fahy (InspiraTO 2018 blueShow award winner, People’s Choice award winner), Laura Mannion, Christine Cortes, Cam Parkes, and Katie Scharf (Sesame Street, 28 days, Transport Group, Drama Desk award nominee).

If you’ve had your fill of dense, heavy-handed sociopolitical commentary then come see this show and let The Ashes of Forgotten Rainbe your palate cleanser.

Missed Metaphor Productions

in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents

The Ashes of Forgotten Rain

Written and directed by Norman Hussey

Starring Jennifer Fahy, Laura Mannion, Christine Cortes, Cam Parkes, and Katie Scharf

Stage managed by Skye Ashby

Performances:

Friday, July 5th at 4:00pm

Sunday, July 7th, at 4:30pm

Tuesday, July 9th at 10:15pm

Wednesday, July 10th at 3:45pm

Thursday, July 11th at 5:00pm

Saturday, July 13th at 7:30pm

Sunday, July 14th at 12:00pm

 

The Knitting Pilgrim – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

Directed by Jennifer Tarver and performed by actor, writer and knitter Kirk Dunn, The Knitting Pilgrim is a multidisciplinary one-person theatrical experience that uses storytelling, image projection and a one-of-a-kind textile installation called Stitched Glass. The show, which premiered at the Aga Khan Museum’s Auditorium in May, 2019, comes to the Toronto Fringe Festival, performing 10 shows at Bloor Street United Church, Toronto, between July 3-14, 2019, and continues its tour around Ontario thereafter. It tells a story of a journey that you need to experience.

Created by actor, writer and knitter Kirk DunnStitched Glass is a triptych of large hand-knitted tapestries, designed in the style of stained-glass windows, which looks at the commonalities and conflicts amongst the Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The textile masterwork was supported by a Chalmers Foundation grant through the Ontario Arts Council in 2003, and took Kirk 15 years to complete. There is no other knitting project like it in the world.

Kirk and seasoned writer Claire Ross Dunn co-wrote The Knitting Pilgrim, which uses the Stitched Glass tapestries – over 90 pounds of knitting – as its set. The play recounts Kirk’s artistic and spiritual journey of hand-knitting the giant project, and his hope to contribute to the vital conversation about xenophobia, dealing with internal and external strife, and fear of the other.

“The hope behind Stitched Glass has always been to create conversation,” says Kirk, who sought out Christian, Muslim and Jewish consultants to help him research and design the artwork and, more personally, to learn about the feelings and experiences of others. “A conversation between all people – believers and non-believers – who find themselves in conflict. How can we better understand and empathize with each other? Everyone has a unique background, point of view, and experience, and at the same time, many experiences are universal. Focusing on what knits us together, rather than what pulls us apart, is a place to start.”

Kirk Dunn’s stage credits include Billy Bishop Goes to War (Ergo Arts Theatre, Carousel); Merlin and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (YPT); Dads! The Musical (Charlottetown, Stirling, Drayton); Romeo and Juliet (Ford Centre); More Munsch (The Grand); The War Show, A Flea in Her Ear, Don’t Dress for Dinner, and The Affections of May (Drayton). Kirk has been knitting since 1988, and designing since 1995. In 1998, he apprenticed with Kaffe Fassett in England and has since been covered in The Toronto Star, Vogue Knitting, Family Circle Knitting, Maclean’s Magazine, the National Post and CBC Radio. Filmmakers Ian Daffern and Omar Majeed are making a documentary about Kirk and his work. 

Director Jennifer Tarver, most recently Artistic Director of Necessary Angel Theatre Company between 2013 and 2019, has directed for Soulpepper Theatre, The Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage Company, Nightwood Theatre, and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. During five seasons at Stratford, her work included Waiting For Godot, The Homecoming, Krapp’s Last Tape, Zastrozzi and King of Thieves. Jennifer’s recent work in the US includes Krapp’s Last Tape in Chicago, and Hedda Gabler in Connecticut. Jennifer was also Associate Director at The Theatre Centre in Toronto from 2004-2012.

The Knitting Pilgrim was workshopped by Ergo Arts Theatre in 2018. Established in 1992 by Artistic Director Anna Pappas, Ergo Arts Theatre strives to promote creative thought, innovative expression and empathy through the performing arts. Its goal is to make the art of theatre accessible to all – to be a part of a collective artistic experience that enhances the way people think, live and communicate.

During the Toronto Fringe, the play will be seen at Bloor Street United Church, Toronto (times/dates below). The show is touring Ontario, with 40+ stops at The Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa Fringe Festivals, many places of faith, Theatre Kingston, and Blyth Festival. Knitting is encouraged during the show if audience members are so inclined (#BYOK) – with Kirk planning to use the audience’s knitting in a forthcoming mystery project.

Stitched Glass was supported by the Ontario Arts Council through the Chalmers Foundation. The Knitting Pilgrim was supported by the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

For further information: www.ergoartstheatre.comwww.kirkdunn.comThe Knitting Pilgrim Facebook page.

Note: ASL performance during Toronto Fringe is July 9 at 7pm.

The Ballad of Frank Allen – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

After it’s making its world debut at Fringe World 2016 and two years successfully touring Australia and Canada, the award-winning show finally makes it’s Toronto debut as part of Fringe! A Sci-Fi Buddy-Comedy about a man who lives in another man’s beard from the bizarre mind of Festival-favourite Shane Adamczak (Trampoline, Zack Adams, Canadian Just For Laughs Award Winner and producer of other ★★★★★ Fringe hits This Is Not A Love Song and Vicious Circles).

When a scientific accident causes a mild-mannered janitor to shrink and get stuck in another man’s beard, their unlikely friendship might be exactly what the two directionless men need to set them on the path toward being better men that proves that even the smallest people can do big things.

Featuring one of Australia’s most established Indy Theatre performers; Shane Adamczak and new Canadian cast-member Al Lafrance (The Quitter, JFL Award-Winner) the show combines physical theatre, storytelling, musical comedy and indie-rock. The Ballad Of Frank Allen promises to be a festival experience like no other and one of the most weird and original shows you’ll catch at this year’s Toronto Fringe!

The Laundry List – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

Will you be on The Laundry List?

Toronto, 1919 – Frankie’s Laundry is THE swinging hotspot – and not just for washing clothes. Frankie and his tap dancers are gunning to be the number one bootlegging operation, but his competition thinks otherwise. Can Frankie’s gals dance their way out of this one? The Laundry List will whisk you back to the golden age of jazz, flappers and gangsters. With live music, singing, and tap dancing, this cast of 13 will leave you with a song in your heart and a skip in your step.

The Roaring Twenties was the birthplace of women empowerment and the rise of tap dance and jazz music. The Laundry List is an original story that shines a spotlight on the strong female flappers who were trailblazers in women’s rights. They rebelled against gender inequality, including defying Prohibition, and bootlegging alcohol. The Laundry List is both unique and entertaining because it is a story told through tap dance. The show features 6 professional female tap dancers as it’s lead characters. Highlighting both vaudeville and rhythmical styles of tap dancing, the two are intertwined seamlessly and compliment the intriguing original story that is, The Laundry List.

Vintage Taps in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents

Written/Produced/Choreographed: Amy Lintunen and Trina Josdal

Featuring: Yarnel Bender, Christine Carr, Geneviève Fullerton, Trina Josdal, Donavon LeNabat, Amy Lintunen, Sebastian Marziali, KJ Mcknight, Andrea Pang, Gwendolyn Shin, Liisa Smith, Raoul Wilke

Musical Director: Donavon LeNabat

Stage Manager: Allison Hawkins

The Huns – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From press release:

New Comedy THE HUNS by Michael Ross Albert to Premiere at Toronto Fringe Festival

Following their critically acclaimed, sold-out production of Anywhere in the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival, One Four One Collective and The Spadina Avenue Gang presentthe world premiere of a menacing new comedy by Michael Ross Albert (Anywhere, Best of Toronto Fringe/Patron’s Pick; Tough Jews, Dora nomination – Outstanding New Play).

The Huns will be among the first Fringe plays performed at Streetcar Crowsnest’s Guolien Theatre, in a production helmed by Crow’s Theatre’s own associate artistic director, Jessie-nominated Marie Farsi (SURVEIL, rEvolver Festival; upcoming: Ghost Quartet, Crow’s Theatre/Eclipse Theatre Company).

Set during a frenzied conference call at a tech company the morning after a break-in, The Huns is a dark workplace comedy about millennial anxieties, minor revolutions, and modern-day barbarians. The ensemble cast of this fast-paced and provocative new work will feature One Four One Collective’s artistic producer, Cass Van Wyck (Therac 25, Unit 102; My Entertainment World Critic’s Pick nomination – Outstanding Performance), as well as Dora-nominated actors Jamie Cavanagh (Confederation Parts I and II, VideoCabaret/Soulpepper) and Breanna Dillon (What Happened Was…, Witchboy Theatre).

To create the chaos of the play’s central conference call, the production will include an intricate sound design, with a dozen pre-recorded cameo voice performances from members of the Toronto indie theatre community, including sound designer, Andy Trithardt (Wildfire, Soulpepper/RARE Theatre).

Though darkly comedic, the play examines the serious themes of depression, anxiety, and mental health in the workplace. Its characters are locked in a brutal and desperate conflict with each other, and with the world around them. The Huns is a scathingly frank examination of a floundering generation’s relationship to work, a satirical critique ofthe culture we’ve become, and a rallying battle-cry for radical change.

Featuring a stellar cast and creative team, The Huns is a visceral, unnerving, laugh-out-loud look at modern workplace culture and mental health. It promises to be an intense and unforgettable Fringe experience.

One Four One Collective and The Spadina Avenue Gang

in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival present

THE HUNS

written by Michael Ross Albert

directed by Marie Farsi

featuring Jamie Cavanagh, Breanna Dillon, and Cass Van Wyck

sound design by Andy Trithardt

stage managed by Aidan Hammond

Venue: Streetcar Crowsnest, Guloien Theatre (345 Carlaw Ave.)

Performances:

Friday July 5, 9:30pm

Saturday July 6, 6:15pm

Sunday July 7, 8:30pm

Tuesday July 9, 7:30pm

Thursday July 11, 5:30pm

Friday July 12, 10:15pm

Sunday July 14, 4:00pm

The ADHD Project – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

Written and performed by award-winning storyteller Carlyn Rhamey, directed and designed by Fringe veteran Jon Paterson (Dora Award winning BoyGroove), The ADHD Project is a biographical account of growing up with ADHD and learning to embrace and celebrate what makes us different. “I’m sharing my story in hopes that it will raise awareness and promote acceptance towards neurodiversity”, explains Rhamey, “and hopefully show how hilariously eventful life can be, when you experience it a little differently.” The ADHD Project also includes a projection element to include photos and personal home videos.

The ADHD Project premiered in the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival, where Rhamey won the Emerging Artist
Award. Since then it has sold out shows across the Fringe Festival circuit in Orlando FL, Vancouver, Edmonton,
London and Hamilton. In each city, audience members have lined up at the end of the show to share their own experiences with ADHD and neurodiversity. The Toronto Fringe Festival is the fifth stop on a nine-city Canadian tour this summer, with four Fringes for The ADHD Project and a stop in Edmonton for the National AccessAbility week. The ADHD Project also tours Ontario schools for Grades 4-12 with Prologue to the Performing Arts.

SPEND YOUR KIDS’ INHERITANCE – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

Canadian Comedy Award winner directs new musical, 
SPEND YOUR KIDS’ INHERITANCE is a reverse coming-of-age musical about four seniors who plot to regain their independence. 2019 Canadian Comedy Award winner, Andrew Lamb, director of the hit musical My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, directs this new musical premiere at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, at the Toronto Fringe, July 4-14, 2019.
In SPEND YOUR KIDS’ INHERITANCE, a newcomer upsets the status quo at a retirement home, unleashing repressed desires and igniting conflict between staff, residents and their adult children. A trio of seniors go AWOL from the home, embarking on a journey that forces them to wrestle with the power of choice and its consequences, and challenges stereotypes about age, love, family, friendship … and freedom.
The SPEND YOUR KIDS’ INHERITANCE team has collectively worked on over 40 Toronto Fringe Shows. The stars of this musical, Charlotte Moore, Denise Norman, Jillian Rees-Brown and Rick Jones, are talented actor/singers who each bring decades of experience to the stage.
Dora-award-winning actor, Charlotte Moore, reflects, “there are very few strong roles for women, let alone experienced and talented professionals over 50, in Canadian theatre, especially musicals. Spend Your Kids’ Inheritance puts three retired female characters right at the centre of the story.” Jillian Rees-Brown, whose acting credits include two years with the touring company of Billy Elliot and Mirvish productions, agrees: “finally a musical where mature adults shine and have all the adventure!”

Some People To Think About – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

Some People To Think About is a solo sketch comedy show by Canadian Comedy Award Nominee Paul Blinov (Gossamer Obsessions, Rapid Fire Theatre), directed by Beth Dart. It offers a finely curated collection of strange fools and plausible nonsense: an all-too-honest father, an all-too-desperate screenwriter, and more. 
 
Paul Blinov is a comedian and writer based in Edmonton. He improvises weekly with Rapid Fire Theatre where he’s the Director of Education (Youth), and he’s toured and performed sketch and improv in places like Vancouver, Toronto, Atlanta, and Chiang Mai (Thailand!). He also co-hosts an award-winning arts criticism podcast called I Don’t Get It.
 
Dates ‘n’ times:
Wed, July 3 (8:30 pm)
Friday, July 5 (2:30 pm)
Sunday, July 7 (8:30 pm)
Monday, July 8 (5:45 pm)
Tuesday, July 9 (6:15 pm)
Friday, July 12 (4:15 pm)
Saturday, July 13 (3:15 pm)

Runtime: 50 minutes
Price: $11
Rating: 14+
Location: Venue 15, Streetcar Crowsnest Scotiabank Studio, 345 Carlaw Avenue

Sidney Needs a Kidney – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

SIDNEY NEEDS A KIDNEY: AN INAPPROPRIATELY MEDICAL DINNER PARTY

Sidney Needs a Kidney is an original story about a couple with a plan. And it’s a good plan. Isn’t it? Well, Mark says it’s a good plan, Sidney says it’s the only plan they’ve got. Desperate and out of options, Mark and Sidney have decided to take things into their own hands – with a dinner party. They didn’t want it to be this way. But he made up his mind, and there’s no changing it. Join us at Theatre Pass Muraille during this year’s 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival for the premiere of this strangely funny dramatic thriller about love, survival, and morality that is set exclusively in Mark and Sidney’s kitchen.

The play is an original story collaboratively created by four new generation writers. Mirroring the characters in Sidney Needs a Kidney, the writers are two couples, connected by two sisters. The writing process was one of close collaboration whereby each week the team would meet, map out the next 7 pages, and assign them to one of the writers. Regular editing meetings and close planning created a well-blended show with one strong voice that successfully portrays and explores the depths and limits of love and community.

The cast is made up entirely of new generation actors, all of whom have a connection to Sheridan College’s joint acting program with the University of Toronto. This has truly been a collaborative and hands on process from start to finish with the four writers also taking on roles as producers, directors, stage manager, and even cast member. Notable accomplishments of some of the company members are Eric Gordon’s work on the shows Fear Thy Neighbor and Unexplained, and his performance as Jimmy in Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Really Really. Jake Settle’s work on Disasters at Sea, and as Hamlet in Theatre Erindale’s production of Hamlet are also of note; along with Kat White’s performance as Geraldine Moodie in Photographic Evidence during the 2018 Hamilton Fringe Festival.

We invite you to join the company members for dinner this July – you’ll be thankful there isn’t a place set for you at Mark and Sidney’s table.

Little Fish Productions
In association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents
Sidney Needs a Kidney
Written by Bronwyn Fischer, Hannah Fischer, Eric Gordon, Emma Workman
Directed by Hannah Fischer
Assistant Directed by Bronwyn Fischer
Starring Max Ackerman, Eric Gordon, Karen Scora, Jake Settle, Kat White
Stage managed by Emma Workman

Opens July 3rd runs to July 13th.
THEATRE PASSE MURAILLE – MAINSPACE, 16 Ryerson Ave, Toronto, ON, M5T 2P3.

Performances:
July 3, 8:30pm
July 5, 3:00pm
July 7, 10:30pm
July 8, 5:45pm
July 10, 8:00pm
July 11, 9:30pm
July 13, 3:15pm

Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating.

Tickets:
Tickets go on sale June 6th, 2019.
Purchase online: https://fringetoronto.com/fringe/show/sidney-needs-kidney
By Phone: 416-966-1062
In Person: During the festival at POSTSCRIPT, the patio at the Toronto Fringe. Located in the Hockey Rink at 275 Street (Dundas + Bathurst).