We’ve made a list, we’ve checked it twice. Check out Our Favourite Picks of the Fringe 2013, in no particular order, to see what performances we’ve particularly dug so far, and think you might too. These were chosen based on general all-around enjoyment, intrigue, the desire to see the piece developed further, as well as notable execution.
Nuanced, sharp performance that’s easy to watch and love. Definitely a must see for anyone who’s ever dabbled in voice-work, advertising or who has ever listened to a radio commercial or two. Fantastic.
“In Radio:30, a veteran “voice guy” named Ron (Chris Earle) is recording a 30 second radio ad with the help of his faithful recording engineer Mike (Paul Constable). Between takes, Ron shares the tricks of his trade with the audience, inadvertently revealing how the polished dishonesty of his profession has infected his personal life. Haunted by his conscience, Ron’s silver tongue begins to betray him…”
Radio:30, presented by the night kitchen
Written & Performed by: Chris Earle
Directed by: Shari Hollett
When: July 3-14, 2013
Wed July 3 @ 7:00 pm
Fri July 5 @ 1:15 pm
Sun July 7 @ 4:45 pm
Tue July 9 @ 5:15 pm
Thur July 11 @ 9:45 pm
Fri July 12 @ 7:00 pm
Sat July 13 @ 2:15 pm
Where: Tarragon Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Ave
Genesis And Other Stories
A fun, belly-laugh-guaranteed piece with a great cast and free juice boxes! What more could you need? A play-within-a-play-within-a-church.
“After his father’s death, Christopher, a theology student, leads a misfit cast of amateur actors in a production of his late father’s play: a hyper-sexed version of Adam and Eve set in 1960’s USA. Slapstick, satire, and meta-theatre frame a surprisingly complex story about lonely people trying to fill roles on and offstage which don’t match who they truly are.”
Genesis & Other Stories presented by Aim for the Tangent Theatre
Written by: Rosamund Small
Directed by: Vivien Endicott-Douglas
Creative Consultation by: Rob Kempson
When: July 3rd, to July 14th, 2013 Performances at 9pm except for Sundays at 8pm
Where: At Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, 427 Bloor St. West
Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare BASH’d does it again. Great performances, strong direction, and you can enjoy a nice cold beverage while watching Shakespeare. What’s not to love? Selling out every show so far, with limited seating (line up 2 hours in advance) there is definitely much ado about SOMETHING.
“Shakespeare BASH’d prepares to celebrate victory at the Victory Café with Much Ado About Nothing.
The creative team that brought you the 2012 Best of Fringe Winner The Taming of the Shrew is at it again, bringing Shakespeare’s uproarious, clever, and at times dark comedy Much Ado About Nothing to the Victory Café! The show centres on a battle of wits between Benedick (James Wallis) and Beatrice (Amelia Sargisson). Hilarity ensues as the couple succumbs to the gossip, rumors and “notings” of their families.”
Much Ado About Nothing, presented by Shakespeare BASH’d
Directed by: Eric Double
When: July 4-14th 7pm, except Sunday at 5pm
Where: Victory Café Upstairs, at 581 Markham Street, just west of Bathurst, south of Bloor.
Love is a Poverty You Can Sell 2: Kisses for a Pfennig
Fantastic performances, stellar live band, delicious food and drink, charming characters. Soup Can Theatre has created the full experience.
“Step into the world of a 1920’s Berlin Cabaret for an evening of song, story, and sin! Soup Can Theatre is proud to present a bold and colourful new production that merges musical and comedy cabaret with immersive theatre. Following in the footsteps of the 2010 Fringe smash hit Love is a Poverty You Can Sell – which was also presented as part of the Best of Fringe program and the 2012 Next Stage Festival – Love is a Poverty You Can Sell 2: Kisses for a Pfennig (German for penny) aims to recreate the mood and atmosphere of an authentic Berlin cabaret in Bite, a warm and scenic bar/music venue in the heart of downtown Toronto, and to seduce audiences with a tantalizing stage show rife with song and spectacle.”
Love is a Poverty You Can Sell 2: Kisses for a Pfennig, presented by Soup Can Theatre
Director and Choreographer: Sarah Thorpe
Emcee Segment Writer and Co-Director: Justin Haigh
Music Director: Pratik Gandhi
Where: Bite – 423 College Street, just east of College and Bathurst.
When: July 3rd to 14th at 7pm (no show July 8th). 90 minute run time.
Death Married My Daughter
Go see this for high caliber of performance; hilarious buffon/clown and woman power! A great two hander buffon and clown based piece. They play Ophelia and Desdemona returned from the dead to exact their revenge.
“What would happen if Shakespeare’s Ophelia and Desdemona entered the theatre together before our very eyes? What would happen if Ophelia and Desdemona came back from the swamps of death where they have endured the longest exile? Resurrected by their desire to expose the “abusers” and “murderers”, they would revel in denouncing “Man”; they would destroy, with delight, the established values of a Man’s society. This is the story of Death Married My Daughter a biting, Bouffon-inspired satire that puts “Man” on trial.”
Death Married My Daughter, presented by Play It Again Productions
Written by Nina Gilmour, Danya Buonastella, Michele Smith & Dean Gilmour
Directed by Michele Smith & Dean Gilmour
When: Friday July 5th – Sunday July 14th
Friday July 5, 8:45 PM
Saturday July 6, 7:30 PM
Monday July 8, 1:00 PM
Wednesday July 10, 5:45 PM
Thursday July 11, 11:30PM
Friday July 12, 11:00 PM
Sunday July 14th, 3:30PM
Where: Tarragon Main Space, 30 Bridgman Ave. Toronto, ON M5R 1X3
Bremen Rock City
Favourite Fringe Kids. Great music, comedy and it’s been sold out almost every show with kids and adults alike. Go early.
“Loosely based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “The Brementown Musicians, Bremen Rock City, with its infectious pop score, follows the story of Jack, a guitar-shredding donkey, who escapes from his boring life on the farm to pursue his dream of becoming a rock star.”
Bremen Rock City, presented by Song Trolley Productions, initially developed as part of Theatre20’s Composium program.
A new musical by Colleen Dauncey (music), Sara Farb (book), and Akiva Romer-Segal (lyrics)
Directed by Esther Jun
When: Opens July 4, 2013 – July 14, 2013
Thursday July 4 @ 12:45pm
Saturday July 6 @ 7:15pm
Sunday July 7 @ 4:00pm
Monday July 8 @ 11:30am
Wednesday July 10 @ 7:30pm
Thursday July 11 @ 12:30pm
Friday July 12 @ 2:45pm
Sunday July 14 @ 5:00pm
Where: Palmerston Theatre ~ 560 Palmerston Avenue, Toronto
Tickets: Prices: $10 Adults, $5 Kids (under 12 years)
We are the Bomb
Kat Sandler & Theatre Brouhaha are on top of their game. We are the Bomb is a fast-paced, physical show filled with political satire that this stellar cast executes like a fine-tuned machine. Line-up early as space is limited and it’s had a sold-out run!
“On the eve of modern prohibition in Canada, a group of would-be revolutionaries declare their favorite bar to be a sovereign nation. Things quickly go awry and a couple on a first date find themselves caught in the middle. As the new nation self implodes, the situation rapidly escalates leaving a trail of destruction. Fringe audiences will sit amongst the chaos and observe as this would-be revolution unfolds.”
We are the Bomb, presented by Theatre Brouhaha
Writen & Directed by: Kat Sandler
Where: The Paddock Tavern, 178 Bathurst Street, south of Queen
When: Running time: 60 minutes
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 -‐ 7:30pm
Thursday, July 4, 2013 -‐ 7:30pm
Friday, July 5, 2013 -‐ 7:30pm
Saturday, July 6, 2013 -‐ 7:30pm
Sunday, July 7, 2013 -‐ 2:00pm
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 -‐ 7:30pm
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 -‐ 7:30pm
Thursday, July 11, 2013 -‐ 7:30pm
Friday, July 12, 2013 -‐ 7:30pm
Saturday, July 13, 2013 -‐ 7:30pm
Sunday, July 14, 2013 -‐ 2:00pm
A thought-provoking, relevant piece challenging the notion of gender roles in our relationships. Spoon is definitely a conversation starter and we are very interested to see this piece developed even further.
“Spoon is a campy, queer and postmodern site-‐specific explosion of gender failure. Andrew (played by Owen Fawcett) and Charles (played by Spencer Charles Smith) have just moved into their new Yonge Street apartment when Charles’ obsession with performing the role of the woman – the little spoon – in their gay relationship begins to tear the couple apart.”
Spoon, presented by Straight Camp, with Owen Fawcett, Spencer Charles Smith, Katie Sly
Written by: Spencer Charles Smith
Directed by: Sky Gilbert
Dramaturged by: Alistair Newton
When: July 3rd – 14th, 8pm
Where: Site-Specific venue – The 3rd floor space above GLAD DAY BOOKSHOP, 598 Younge Street (just North of Wellesley subway station)
MSM [men seeking men]
This is a stellar company performance, filled with intricate movement/dance pieces, seamless dj-ed soundscape, and a fascinating exploration of the online dating world.
“MSM [men seeking men] is a dance theatre piece inspired by transcripts of online conversations between men who seek other men. Set inside a world of electronic beats where music is the omnipotent power, lemonTree’s Artistic Producer, Indrit Kasapi directs a piece inspired by his own online encounters. He invites DJ Scooter (of New York & Toronto Cub Camp party fame) to spin live at each performance. Through movement, the piece deconstructs online male personas and their personal exchanges with other men.”
MSM [men seeking men] presented by lemonTree creations
Concept/Direction by: Indrit Kasapi
Choreography by: COMPANY
Dramaturgy by: Jonathan Seinen
When: Thursday, July 4: 7pm
Friday, July 5: 1:45pm
Sunday, July 7: 5:15pm
Tuesday, July 9: 5pm
Thursday, July 11: 12pm
Friday, July 12: 9:15pm
Saturday, July 13: 2:15pm
Where: Randolph Theatre – 736 Bathurst Street
2 for Tea
Engaging (you may be one of those invited to the tea party), intimate, witty, physical comedy, and entirely enjoyable! BYOTC (Bring your own tea cup).
“England’s well-loved surreal physical comedy duo – James & Jamesy – push the conventions of theatre off the stage as they lure you into their “delightfully bizarre” world with their innocence and “endearing chemistry”.”
2 for Tea, presented by Life & Depth
Writers/Performers: Aaron Malkin & Alastair Knowles
Ringmaster: David MacMurray Smith
Where: Venue #4, The Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst St.
When: July 4th – July 13th
Thursday, July 4, 2013 – 11:00pm
Saturday, July 6, 2013 – 9:15pm
Monday, July 8, 2013 – 6:30pm
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 – 10:45pm
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 – 7:30pm
Friday, July 12, 2013 – 12:00pm
Saturday, July 13, 2013 – 4:00pm
Kill Sister Kill
This show has solid writing and song composition with a very interesting concept. We’d love to see it fleshed out as a full scale musical.
“What happens when a gentle nun witnesses the brutal rape and murder of her kid sister at the hands of two depraved punks in a New York alleyway? She gets revenge, and sings about it! Lily transforms from a woman of God into a weapon of hellbent vengeance on the mean streets of late-’70s New York City in Kill, Sister, Kill, a dark musical at the Toronto Fringe Festival”
Kill, Sister, Kill, presented by Kid Switchblade Productions
Written by: Andrew “Drac” and Jamieson Child
Original score and music direction by: Tamara Saringer.
Lyrics by: the Child bros, Tamara Saringer and Stefne Mercedes.
Directed by: Jamieson Child,
When: July 5th – July 14th
Friday, July 5, 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 12 p.m.
Monday, July 8, 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, July 10, 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 11, 4 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 2:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 14, 1:45 p.m.
Where: The Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst St., Toronto.
Excellent use of the one-woman show format. Jessica Moss is alive in her work, which is both witty, sharp and poignant. Her work constantly holds up to must-see standards!
“Polly is an ordinary girl with a call–centre job and a sense that there could be more. One day, a voice in her head begins narrating her thoughts and actions: as if she was worthy of an audience. Then, on a routine call, she phones someone with a beautiful alto voice and an uncanny knowledge of Polly’s own soul. ‘I’m Polly Eschfield’, the voice says, ‘I’m you. Find me’. Polly is thrown on a journey of self-discovery and realization as she is tormented with questions of who she really is. Polly Polly is a theatrical romp into a screwball movie, a mystery with only one suspect, one victim, and one performer, and a farce of an identity crisis, all presented live in Theatr-O-Scope Vision.”
Polly Polly, presented by Theatre Mischief
Written and Performed by: Jessica Moss
When: July 4th-13th
Thursday, July 4 – 7:45 pm
Friday, July 5 – 1:15 pm
Sunday, July 7 – 9:45 pm
Monday, July 8 – 4:00 pm
Tuesday, July 9 – 10:15 pm
Thursday, July 11 – 6:15 pm
Friday, July 12 – 5:15 pm
Saturday, July 13 – 8:00 pm
Where: At Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, Fringe Venue 11
16 Ryerson Avenue (North of Queen Street, East of Bathurst)
Morro and Jasp: Go Bake Yourself
Charming, delightful, a sure-fire good time! If you haven’t made it a priority to see what these ladies are up to, put Morro and Jasp at the top of your list for the end of Fringe 2013.
“Morro and Jasp have decided to host a cooking show, but they both have very different ideas of what that entails. Morro wants a battle in the kitchen, while Jasp is trying to host a classy show and cook her way into an unknowing audience member’s heart. Full of muchies, mess, and mayhem, Morro and Jasp: Go Bake Yourself is a culinary masterpiece you won’t soon forget.”
Morro and Jasp: Go Bake Yourself, presented by Up your Nose and In your Toes (U.N.I.T.) Productions
By: Heather Marie Annis, Byron Laviolette & Amy Lee
Where: 918 Bathurst Street
When: July 3rd – 14th
Wed, July 3: 8pm
Sun, July 7: 4pm
Mon, July 8: 8pm
Tues, July 9: 8pm
Wed, July 10: 8pm
Thu, July 11: 8pm
Fri, July 12: 4pm & 8pm
Sat, July 13: 4pm & 8pm
Sun, July 14: 4pm
Peter n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies
Sketch comedy, extremely physical and narrative driven, Peter n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies goes beyond funny.
“Chris is a hypochondriac, and when Peter n’ Chris attempt to get to the bottom of the problem by entering Chris’ body, the result is a Lord of the Rings style Epic adventure.Peter n’ Chris are a 2012 Canadian Comedy Award Nominated sketch duo from Vancouver BC. They were a featured act in the 2013 Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival. In 2012 they won the Just For Laughs – Best Comedy Award in Montreal for their play “Peter n’ Chris Explore their Bodies”, and earned the “Audience Choice” award at the 2011 Toronto SketchFest.”
Peter n’ Chris Explore their Bodies, presented by Peter n’ Chris
Directed by: Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson
When: July 5th – 13th
Fri, July 5: 5:15pm
Sat, July 6: 9:15pm
Sun, July 7: 4:45pm
Tues, July 9: 1:15pm
Wed, July 10: 11pm
Fri, July 12: 7pm
Sat, July 13: 8pm
Where: George Ignatieff Theatre
Well crafted, Mr. Bean-style slapstick.
“A physical comedy that uses elements of Farce and Commedia dell’Arte, Stalled tells the story of Guy: a man who becomes hopelessly trapped in a bathroom stall at the Toronto Bus Terminal due to a tirade of wacky characters and situations.”
Stalled, presented by Natural Progression Theatre
Written by: Phillip Psutka
Directed by: Lindsay Bellaire
When: July 5th – July 13th
July 5, 9:15pm
July 6, 4:00pm
July 7, 7:30pm
July 9, 1:00pm
July 10, 11:15pm
July 12, 4:30pm
July 13, 3:30pm
Where: Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, 16 Ryerson Avenue
Don’t Splash Shelley Rae
(Image unfortunately not available. Mermaids are rare to catch on camera.)
An Alley Play to put on your list. This 30-minute shed-show was both charming and fun.
“Come see a glimpse of Shelley Rae! Discovered in shark-infested Cuban waters, this mermaid is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Just remember: DO NOT water her, DO NOT feed her, and certainly DO NOT indulge her- unless you’re parched with curiosity. She may be a mermaid, but she is not your maid by any means.”
Don’t Splash Shelley Rae, presented by Vertebrae, Undone
Written by: Jaime Hernandez Lujan
Directed by: Nicholas Potter
When: July 3rd – July 14th
Wed, July 3: 8:30pm
Fri, July 5: 8:30pm
Sat, July 6: 2pm
Sun, July 7: 8:30pm
Mon, July 8: 6:30pm
Tues, July 9: 3pm
Wed, July 10: 6:30pm
Thurs, July 11: 8:30pm
Fri, July 12: 6:30pm
Sat, July 13: 2pm