This was my busiest day at Fringe so far! With four shows at three different venues, it was a very full day of Fringing (and exploring the area around the theatre as well!). A day like this couldn’t make me happier, seeing great theatre and spending time around this beautiful city is exactly the thing to do on a beautiful summer Saturday!

Statistics

            Statistics is a new musical about a young woman, Rose, who is applying for Med School and who looks up to Dr. Rosalind Franklin, one of the scientists who discovered the structure of DNA. With a live band on stage (dressed in lab coats no less!) and great songs accompanied by excellent acting Statistics was pure delight!

            A musical about science isn’t something you find every day, and yet Statistics made me question why it’s not done very often. It has a very relatable and heartwarming story; plus, I certainly hadn’t heard of Dr. Rosalind Franklin before, and now I want to learn as much as I can about her! With fantastic acting by leads Madison Sekulin, Rachel Mundy, and Colette Richardson, and supported by Michael Manning, Man Nguyen, Oliver Daniel, and Julian Da Silva, this was a stellar cast who all brought such life and heart to their characters. Their voices were amazing, and again I’m wishing the cast album would drop ASAP! I cannot recommend this show enough. For more info visit: Statistics | Toronto Fringe Festival (fringetoronto.com)

Femmillennial

            Femmillennial is a beautiful dance/theatre piece created by Kylie Thompson. Exploring the challenges women face in our male-dominated society. From the costuming to the audio clips chosen, Femmillennial has a cohesive, clear vision which is performed gracefully by the three dancers.

            Claire Whitaker, Kiera Breaugh, and Dana Macdonald breathe such life into this piece. They are so talented; I marvelled as they tumbled and leapt across the stage. I loved how they could make it so that it looked like their button-down shirts were forcing themselves back onto their bodies. And while they were having some projection issues at the performance I saw; I can only imagine how much more beautiful the production would have been with it. They were so emotive and elegant; I could have watched them all day! This was a thought-provoking, mesmerizing piece of dance. For more info visit: Femmillennial | Toronto Fringe Festival (fringetoronto.com)

2 Robs 1 Cup: What Happens When You’re Done Eating Shit?

            I was rather unsure of what to expect from this one-woman show; but let me tell you how absolutely pleasantly surprised I was and how much I enjoyed 2 Robs 1 Cup. Starring Vikki Velenoski and directed by Knox Harter, 2 Robs 1 Cup chronicles Vikki’s relationship mishaps and how they led to her being the woman she is today. This is an emotionally unguarded, moving piece that had us laughing, gasping, and singing along with Vikki.

            I appreciated Vikki doing her costume changes on stage; to render yourself that exposed to an audience takes guts, something I don’t think I could ever do. Yet she does it with a grace and purpose that really makes you understand that she just wants to be real with you, and that she certainly was. Her honesty about her life and what had led her to those decisions makes you absolutely fall in love with her. It also makes you look at yourself and realize that she’s right: we all have a little bit of monster inside of us. She had this remarkable way of making us feel comfortable with her, so that at times when she was telling her story, you’d hear quiet exclamations of “What?” or “How?!?” or from me: “Wow.” You certainly feel like you’ve collectively been through something; she made some quip about us all being friends now and a lady said “I sure am now!” and I had to agree. You’ll definitely want to check out whatever Vikki’s doing next. For more info visit: 2 Robs, 1 Cup: What Happens When You’re Done Eating Shit? | Toronto Fringe Festival (fringetoronto.com)

KIN

            Produced by Strands of the Night Theatre Company, KIN is the only production at Fringe this year which is being solely put on by High School Students; an impressive feat for such young artists. KIN’s story is touching and thoughtful, asking us who we value in our lives and how do we show them. Rather heavy subject matter for considering the creative team, but they handled it with maturity and grace.

            There were several technical elements which I really enjoyed, but in particular I thought that how they did the car with the rolling chairs and flashlights was smart and amusing. The cast was fantastic, you can tell that they all have the potential for great careers in theatre and acting. I enjoyed how the story shifted focus from the male to the female lead; once Adam makes the choice to leave Billie at the gas station, the story becomes hers as she tries to figure out what to do next. We are left with quite a few questions as the lights go down: does Adam like his new-found half brother? Will they stay in each other’s lives? And, as the site for the show also queries, who is Emma? Yet with Adam and Billie discussing living like there’s no tomorrow at the beginning of the play, it would seem that their lives may have ended with these questions plaguing them as well. I was very impressed with this cast and crew, KIN was certainly an introspective, relatable story well told by a talented group of artists. For more information visit: KIN | Toronto Fringe Festival (fringetoronto.com)

            Just one show left of Fringe for me! I’m so thankful to have been able to experience such great theatre!

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