Toronto Fringe 2011: Shows So Far

After a weekend of Fringing, I thought I’d do a quick rundown of some shows I would recommend you see at the Toronto Fringe Festival 2011.

First up: Sex, Religion, and Other Hang-Ups. This show, written and performed by James Gangl is a quick, well performed and engaging one man show with plenty of laughs.  As a solo performer, Gangl makes a strong connection with his audience, taking them on the journey through the titular hangups.  The only complaint I might have about the show, is that James seems to be running so tightly along the edge of his 60 minute time limit, that he frequently has to ask his audience to stop laughing because there’s “no time” for it.

Next was Love, Virtually, by Chloë Ariane Whitehorn, who’s writing I quite enjoy.  The play is a look at online dating, with some smart takes on the kinds of profiles one is likely to find on those sites.  I enjoyed the play, and can recommend it as something worth seeing at the Fringe.

Virginia Alderidge, BSc, is the story of a girl following in the footsteps of her childhood heroine, in an attempt to impress a boy.  Janelle Hanna as the title character is funny in her naivete and heartbreaking in her longing for a boy who may not really know she exists.  The play is well written, and definitely worth your time.

Kim’s Convenience is by far the standout show of this year’s Fringe. It is not just the best Fringe show I have seen in a long time, it is the best show period that I have seen in a long time. This is the show to see (if you can get in), and its worth the wait in the ticket line (show up at least 30 minutes before tickets go on sale).  Great script, well acted by a talented cast.  I have never seen a more heart-felt and genuine standing ovation in a theatre.  I hope this show has a long life after Fringe, because it it well deserved.

 

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