Fringe Picks: Part 2

5 Jul

More highlights from the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival!

you_detective.web_-250x250 You Detective

Toronto sketch comedy stalwarts, Fratwurst, present a unique and ambitious conceptual comedy caper that combines highlights from their existing repertoire with a choose-your-own adventure style detective drama. Much of the material is delightfully funny (a bit about an inept jingle writer elicited particularly loud howls) and even when there are rough patches, it’s just as entertaining to sit back and watch the three performers navigate the labyrinthine narrative structure required of the format. Seriously, this reviewer has seen a flow chart of the possible outcomes and it’s damned impressive.


With a title like that, one might expect Erin Thompson’s one woman show to either be a modern-day cautionary tale or an over-zealous celebration of female sexuality. Instead, Thompson avoids the spectral extremes that characterize lesser fringe shows of a similar ilk and presents a laudably nuanced and relatable tale of ‘Diana’s’ (a very thinly fictionalized version of Thompson herself) sexual evolution from clueless teen to confident lover. The tone is frank and open without being titillating, and the performance is dotted with plenty of good humour. Thompson is a stronger actor than singer, but a handful of droll musical interludes add some cabaret flair to the already colourful sixty minutes.


Nobody’s Business Theatre, comprised of best-buds Johnnie Walker and Morgan Norwich, are back to celebrate their company’s ten-year anniversary with a pair of audience favourite remounts (the other being Redheaded Stepchild). Amusement is a delightfully crafted tale of two former university friends who, after reuniting over too many Caesars in the park, spontaneously decide to fly to Florida and apply for jobs at Disney World with unexpected results. The world Walker and Norwich create is rich with whimsy, satire, and over-the-top characters (performed with gusto by the duo), but it is the elegant way the innumerable threads of the story all come together that impresses most.

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