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FringeTO: Waiting For Alonzo

As the title suggest, Waiting For Alonzo references Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, the mid-Twentieth Century absurdist play in which two characters endlessly anticipate the arrival of a third party.

Starring Victoria Urquhart as Doctor Zanita,  Hayley Malouin as Bielke and Kevin Chew as Andre, Waiting For Alonzo is set in a future where pollution and climate change has destroyed planet Earth and all that appears to be left of the home world are these three characters drifting through space: two human women, a scientist whose lust to create perfection has lead her to regenerate her body parts to the point where they barely function; her desperately lonely sycophantic assistant, and a sexy humanoid mainframe who runs the spacecraft.

Victoria Urquhart demonstrates an adeptness at physical comedy in the stilted movements of her character's vain attempts to defy age and gravity. Her robotic antics are displayed at their humorous best when, without the aid of Bielke, she has to manoeuvre her way around the ship with the help of a chair on casters. Hayley Malouin delivers her fatalistic asides with heartbreaking comic deftness and Kevin Chew gives new meaning to the word straight man, as he remains standing  immobile for the majority of the play.

While I appreciated the cast of Waiting For Alonzo, the pacing of this comic tragedy is frustratingly uneven. Absurdist plays demand a syncopated rhythm to match its dialogue, but in this offering, there are too many instances where the tempo is flat. I laughed on occasion, but I left the theatre feeling a bit disappointed.

Waiting for Alonzo
Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace

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