This evening was a two-show night at Tarragon Theatre for myself and my partner. One thing that’s so fun about Fringe is seeing some of the same people night after night as you all bop around to the different theatres. It truly gives the Fringe Festival a communal feel and makes it its own unique experience. Tonight, we took in Dead Broke by Lost Dreams Collective and PRUDE by Probably Theatre Collective; while these plays were vastly different from one another, that’s the beauty of Fringe! You get to witness all sorts of art in a variety of forms and discover new things!

Dead Broke

            Dead Broke is a creepy comedy about a young man who’s down on his luck and begins to occupy an abandoned house next to the one his friends already rent. Written by Will King and directed by Calvin Peterson, this play does a fabulous job at building suspense and then releasing it with laughter; this ebb and flow takes you on a twisty, other-worldly journey along with the characters that’ll have you on the edge of your seat!

            The cast of Dead Broke was fantastic, a truly great ensemble. Featuring Courtney Keir, Will King, Claire Shenstone-Harris, Gordon Harper, and Elle Reimer, they each brought their character to life in such captivating ways. I especially loved the tension between King and Reimer’s characters; you can tell they don’t like each other one bit, but they both deeply care for Charlotte (Keir) and so they know they have to work together. Shenstone-Harris gives a particularly chilling performance as Irina (or is it Henrietta?). They all truly gave such life (and afterlife) to these charming characters.

            I particularly enjoyed how many loose ends and questions I had once the play was done. It sparked plenty of conversation after the show! If you’re a fan of horror, this is definitely the play to see. Dead Broke is an exhilarating mix of comedy and the supernatural that’ll leave the hairs on the back of your neck on end! For more information and tickets visit: Dead Broke | Toronto Fringe Festival (fringetoronto.com)

PRUDE

            When I saw that there was going to be a stand-up style drag show at Fringe, I knew I had to go. What I hadn’t expected was just how vulnerable and thought-provoking this performance was going to be. PRUDE features Lou Campbell as the King of the Party, who sets out to teach the audience how they themselves can become Party Royalty. What we’re actually taught is what it means to be human, and the many dimensions humanity can take, especially when it comes to sex.

            To say that Campbell gives an energetic performance would be an understatement; they were a whirlwind of energy and excitement, and I love that they got all of us involved too! Despite the beginning of the show being very “lit” and teaching us the fundamentals of being true Party Royalty, the latter part of the play was very real, honest, and open, and left me thinking about it for a long while after the lights went down. While I wasn’t expecting it, I was delighted that Campbell went there. There’s something about drag that allows for that level of vulnerability; underneath the Club Kid façade, there’s a real person just trying to find their way through the world.

            You simply must see PRUDE! Grab your tickets quick, tonight’s performance was sold out! For tickets and more info visit: PRUDE | Toronto Fringe Festival (fringetoronto.com)

Another fantastic night in the books! I’m back at Tarragon tomorrow night for two more shows which I can’t wait to tell you all about. Toronto Fringe Festival is going to be announcing the Patron’s Picks at the Awards Ceremony at the PS: Patio at the Tranzac on Friday from 6-8pm. I’m going to try and swing by before my show that evening so make sure to say hi if you’re going to be there!

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