Monday, 21 June 2010

Don't Just Stand There! Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival

There are 150 plays/performances in this year's Fringe Festival, and I think I got an email from all of them. With a one-hour radio show, I can only accommodate a few people, so I went through my emails and comprised a guest list from those who had contacted me way back in May. My guest list criteria also included chosing a variety of perfomances that had that indie, take-a-chance-on-me creative energy that I love about the Fringe.

Each of my guests had 5 minutes to "sell" their shows, and I must say that I think I chose well. Everybody brought their I-want-you-to-see-my-show excitement to the table, and I had a wonderful time engaging with actress Meghan Tuck ("Jill" in Fairy Tale Ending), Claire Frances Muir (co-writer, puppeteer, Kissing Swinburne), Sarah Thorpe (director, Love is a Poverty You Can Sell), Linette Doherty (director/choreographer, METRO), Ashley Botting (actress, Pick of the Fringe), Elise Newman (writer/director, Raven for a Lark), and Marko Pandza (actor/singer, The Silent City). They also had a great time meeting each other. Tanisha Tait, joined me by telephone during her break between directing The Whores and dashing off to direct Maurice Carter's Innocence (what a woman!).

As the motto for the Fringe says, "Don't Just Stand There...See Some Theatre!"

Fairy Tale Ending
Music and Lyrics by Kieren MacMillan & Jeremy Hutton
Book by Jeremy Hutton
presented by Roll Your Own Theatre from Toronto

Join Jill as a “line up” of characters is questioned about the sudden changes occurring in their fairy tales. A topsy-turvy yet touching tale of a young girl coming to grips with loss and the reality of growing up. With catchy songs like “I, like, totally don’t even give a care” and “You don’t know Jack”.

Director: Jeremy Hutton
Choreographer: Ashleigh Powell
Music Director: Kieren MacMillan
Genre: Musical
Audience: Family Entertainment
Warning: Adults will enjoy!
Venue: Palmerston Library Theatre

60 min.
Fri, July 2 4:45 PM
Sat, July 3 4:15 PM
Sun, July 4 2:00 PM
Mon, July 5 11:00 AM
Wed, July 7 2:30 PM
Thu, July 8 5:30 PM
Fri, July 9 11:00 AM
Sat, July10 3:45 PM

For the line up of all 7 family friendly plays click: Fringe Kids

Kissing Swinburne
by Mark Huisman and Claire Frances Muir
presented by Lady Trevelyan’s Circle from Toronto

Mark Huisman as Ethel and the mask was created and built by Karen Rodd. Photographer: Claire Frances Muir.

Puppets, live action, masks and multimedia transport you into the imagined, sadomasochistic world of Victorian poet Algernon Swinburne and his love-struck companion Theodore Watts. To win Swinburne’s love, Theo must compete with a lusty first cousin, the school mistress - who paddles with enthusiasm, a preacher who wants a nibble, and an array of lascivious puppets!

Director: David Talbot
Cast: Mark Huisman, Mary Krohnert, Claire Frances Muir
Genre: Multi-Media
Audience: Mature Audience
Warning: Content
Venue 22 Bread & Circus- BYOV

65 min.
Wed, June 30 6:45 PM
Fri, July 2 8:30 PM
Sat, July 3 6:45 PM
Sun, July 4 5:00 PM
Mon, July 5 8:30 PM
Tue, July 6 5:00 PM
Wed, July 7 5:00 PM
Thu, July 8 8:30 PM
Fri, July 9 6:45 PM
Sat, July 10 5:00 PM
Sun, July 11 8:30 PM

Love is a Poverty You Can Sell
Original Material written by Justin Haigh.
Featuring the Music of Kurt Weill and others.
presented by Soup Can Theatre from Toronto

Enter the world of a 1920s Berlin cabaret and enjoy a night of song, story, and sin. This special theatrical tribute to the music and musical legacy of legendary composer Kurt Weill features a cast of only the finest bohemian riff-raff backed by a ten piece orchestra.
“Delightful ... Hilarious” - Ontario Arts Review,
“Fantastic ... Crowd-pleasing” - Mondo Magazine,
“Wonderful” - Tapeworthy

Director: Sarah Thorpe
Genre: Musical Cabaret
Audience: Mature Audience
Warning: Hedonism, Tomfoolery, Indulgently Floral Language
Venue 22 Bread & Circus- BYOV

90 min.
Wed, June 30 10:15 PM
Thu, July 1 10:15 PM
Fri, July 2 10:15 PM
Sat, July 3 10:15 PM
Sun, July 4 2:30 PM
Mon, July 5 10:15 PM
Wed, July 7 10:15 PM
Thu, July 8 10:15 PM
Fri, July 9 10:15 PM
Sat, July 10 10:15 PM
Sun, July 11 2:30 PM

Maurice Carter's Innocence
by Donald Molnar & Alicia Payne
presented by Arbez Drama Projects from Toronto

A gospel choir helps tell the story of the enduring friendship between Doug Tjapkes and Maurice Carter, a man who spent 29 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Maurice is Black. Doug is White. While fighting for Maurice’s freedom, the two men became brothers. Based on a true story.

Genre: Play-Drama
Audience: General Audience
Warning: Gunshots
Venue 19 Trinity St. Paul United Church - Sanctuary - BYOV

90 min.
Fri, July 2 7:45 PM
Sat, July 3 7:45 PM
Sun, July 4 2:45 PM
Mon, July 5 7:45 PM
Tue, July 6 7:45 PM
Wed, July 7 7:45 PM
Thu, July 8 7:45 PM
Fri, July 9 7:45 PM
Sat, July 10 7:45 PM
Sun, July 11 2:45 PM

Created by Linette Doherty
presented by Maya and Jackson from Toronto

A hilarious look at public transportation in the big city. From breakdancing cops to bored office drones, the subway is where the city comes together; our joys, loves, fears, and frustrations become shared collective experiences. With a cast of zany characters blending hard hitting street styles and haunting contemporary works, Linette Doherty creates dance that’s accessible, technically innovative, and unique.

Director: Linette Doherty
Choreographer: Linette Doherty
Cast: Linette Doherty, Ashley Brodeur, and Gary Lucich
Genre: Dance
Audience: General Audience
Venue 4 Bathurst Street Theatre

60 min.
Fri, July 2 7:00 PM
Sun, July 4 3:30 PM
Mon, July 5 10:30 PM
Wed, July 7 1:45 PM
Thu, July 8 9:15 PM
Sat, July 10 2:15 PM
Sun, July 11 5:15 PM

Pick of the Fringe!
Created and Performed by Karen Parker, Leslie Seiler, Ashley Botting
presented by Punch In the Box Productions from Toronto

Photo: Wade Vroom

All the single ladies, all the married ladies, all the guys who love ladies, all the bearded ladies…this is The Fringe show for you. Three Second City alumnae bring you a comedy revue about men, women and whatever “Chaz” Bono is. The title may be cocky, but this show contains no cocks. It does, however, have a ton of balls.

Director: Paul Constable
Cast: Karen Parker, Leslie Seiler, Ashley Botting
Genre: Sketch
Audience: General Audience
Warning: Language, mature content
Venue 13 Factory Studio Theatre

60 min.
Fri, July 2 5:30 PM
Sat, July 3 12:15 PM
Sun, July 4 9:15 PM
Tue, July 6 6:45 PM
Wed, July 7 8:00 PM
Fri, July 9 11:15 PM
Sat, July 10 1:45 PM

Raven for a Lark
by Elise Newman
presented by quoi quoi quoi from Toronto

Photo: Elise Newman

Two actors get sucked into the twisted world of Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare’s bloodiest tragedy. Originally staged at SummerWorks, this darkly funny play was a hit at the Ottawa Fringe. “Devilishly creepy… a must-see” (Ottawa Citizen)

Cast: Adam Bradley, Shelley Liebembuk
Genre: Play-Drama
Audience: General Audience
Warning: Content
Venue 3 Royal St. George's Auditorium

45 min.
Fri, July 2 9:15 PM
Sat, July 3 4:00 PM
Sun, July 4 5:45 PM
Tue, July 6 1:00 PM
Wed, July 7 11:15 PM
Fri, July 9 9:45 PM
Sun, July 11 2:45 PM

The Silent City
by Stagehands
presented by Stagehands from Toronto

Photo: Ashlea Wessel at Revolver Photography

“Bombastic Broadway Rock” raves NOW Magazine! Toronto’s own musical-theatre rock band, Stagehands, brings Fringers a high-energy, all-original rock opera performed and acted the group. Follow the tale of an artist struggling to get heard in a city where nothing is as it seems... Warning: tunes so catchy, you won’t be able to get ‘em out of your head!

Director: Evan Tsitsias
Choreographer: Stephen Low
Cast: Justine Moritz, Marko Pandza, Nemanja Protic, Geoff Stevens, David Yenovkian and Mackenzie Zufelt
Genre: Musical
Audience: General Audience
Venue 22 Bread & Circus- BYOV

60 min.
Wed, June 30 8:30 PM
Thu, July 1 6:45 PM
Fri, July 2 5:00 PM
Sat, July 3 8:30 PM
Sun, July 4 6:45 PM
Mon, July 5 6:45 PM
Wed, July 7 6:45 PM
Thu, July 8 5:00 PM
Fri, July 9 8:30 PM
Sat, July 10 6:45 PM
Sun, July 11 5:00 PM

The Whores
by Charles Crosby
presented by FishStick Productions from Toronto

Derived from interviews conducted with Halifax-area prostitutes, the play looks at the business through the eyes of five women; Carnie, Cherry, Lori, Sam and Mary; from different backgrounds with alternate outlooks and stories to share.

Director: Tanisha Taitt
Cast: Clare Blackwood, Hayley Fisher, Sarah Illiatovitch- Goldman, Jennifer Kenneally, Joanne Williams
Genre: Play-Drama
Audience: Mature Audience
Warning: Content, Language, Nudity, Gunshots
Venue 7 George Ignatieff Theatre

75 min.
Wed, June 30 10:30 PM
Sat, July 3 5:15 PM
Mon, July 5 8:00 PM
Tue, July 6 3:00 PM
Thu, July 8 Noon
Fri, July 9 8:45 PM
Sat, July 10 4:00 PM

• Online at
• By Phone at 416-966-1062 or 1-866-515-7799
• In person (June 30 – July 11 only) at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street

Advance tickets are $11 ($10+$1 convenience fee), and $5 for FringeKids (no convenience fee for kids tickets).

If you plan on seeing at least five shows, invest in a Fringe Pass to save money.

5 Play Pass — $40
Good for 5 “at-the-door” tickets. Maximum one ticket per play/pass. Non-transferable.

Frequent Fringer Pass — $70
Good for 10 “at-the-door” tickets. Maximum one ticket per play/pass. Non-transferable.

Buddy Pass — $90
Good for 14 “at-the-door” tickets. Maximum two tickets per play/pass. This pass can be used by two patrons.

There are no refunds for any unused portion of a pass.
ID may be requested when using a Fringe Pass.

Source Material:

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