We had another fun evening at the Toronto Fringe Festival! We took in two shows at Tarragon Theatre again tonight: Too Much Information Improvised and The Boy Who Cried. Because Tarragon offers three spaces for performances, there’s always such hubbub before a show, it’s a really great vibe to be in after so long away from live theatre!
Too Much Information Improvised
If you’re looking for a good laugh, Too Much Information Improvised is the show for you. Starring real-life exes Steph Haller and Paddy MacDonald, Too Much Information Improvised is a totally improvised show where they talk about their journey together and then do improvised sketches based on audience suggestion. It’s an interesting blend of story telling methods which makes for a unique viewing experience every show.
I loved that literally nothing was off limits; they told us about everything from their first meeting to their most intimate details. The sketches in between used their real-life stories as jumping off points for improvised episodes and they were exceptionally funny. Good improv is made from the performers knowing each other well and trusting each other fully, and you can tell that Steph and Paddy have great chemistry and trust that the other will follow if they lead. And while it’s unfortunate that things didn’t work out in their personal lives together, it certainly makes for great stories! Their “sponsored content” where they talked about Gabby’s was so funny, I couldn’t stop laughing. Truly, they took the suggestions they could use and ran with them, creating hilarious scenes as well as funny and honest stories.
You definitely need to check out Too Much Information Improvised! For more info and tickets you can visit: Too Much Information Improvised | Toronto Fringe Festival (fringetoronto.com)
The Boy Who Cried
The Boy Who Cried follows a young camp counsellor at a camp for troubled youth as she struggles discover what’s causing her favourite camper to act out. Featuring a rather large ensemble cast, The Boy Who Cried might have bit off more than it could chew in terms of plot, but certainly had some funny moments which had the audience really laughing.
I liked the idea of having the summer camp near the prison, and how that was all introduced to us at the beginning of the play; however, it felt like there was so much material in-between the moments dealing with Jayce and his troubles (and his scheme with his father) that the main plotline got a bit lost in the rest of the work. A moment that was particularly funny outside of the main plot is during Pride Month when they’re issuing the new camp Ally shirts, but the queer counsellors don’t get to wear them; their reactions were priceless and the timing was perfect. That’s certainly another thing that stood out for me, the actors were very committed to their roles; you could tell they knew them inside and out. However, in regards to the plot there were some missed opportunities or loose ends which left me feeling a little lost. The vagabond for instance, was she Soren from the future? Or is it just some kind of cosmic coincidence? We never really find out. I also felt like the separation of the boys from the girls was supposed to be a metaphor for something or symbolic of something but I couldn’t really suss out what they were getting at. The whole camp essentially being a social experiment would have been an interesting angle, but then when you find out that it’s basically run by the mafia so that their kids are out of their hair during the summer, it doesn’t really seem to fit.
The Boy Who Cried is a well designed, well acted production which certainly delighted tonight’s audience. For more information and tickets, visit: The Boy Who Cried | Toronto Fringe Festival (fringetoronto.com)
I cannot believe we’re in the home stretch of Fringe already! I have several more shows to see over the coming days though and I’m so excited to keep experiencing everyone’s hard work! I’m going to try to make it to the Awards Ceremony at the Tranzac Patio tomorrow night before my show, so hopefully I’ll see some of you there!