My Theatre

05 July 2016

Toronto Fringe ’16: Part XV

By // Theatre (Toronto)

timcmurphy_1_blind_to_happiness

Blind to Happiness

Be sure to check out our Full List of Fringe Reviews

Blind to Happiness (A)
An absolute must see. Tim C Murphy shines as a socially awkward dishwasher, an aspiring poet/line cook, and a PhD Psych student, breathing life and depth into each character, as well as many off stage ones as well. He immediately charms the audience, drawing us into his world and eliciting laughs after almost every line. His characters are fully real and completely empathetic. At once darkly comic and starkly real, the play makes us question what the real nature of happiness is, and whether we can ever call ourselves truly happy.

YellowZoned (A)
Amazing performance by Alia Ettienne in this solo show. Raw, utterly vibrant and impossible to look away from, she gives an unstoppable performance as a twenty something battling anxiety while trying to navigate the confusing world of adulthood. Emotionally intense and powerful, while still very comedic, there were many times where I wasn’t sure whether to cry or to laugh. In a world full of young people shouting their stories, this one should not be missed.

We Are XX (B)
Told from three varying perspectives, We Are XX is about the trials and tribulations of being a female and a visible minority in the city of Toronto. Written and performed by Rafia Afrin Salam, Anne Vo, and Samay Arcentales, and directed by Meg Moran, they are all at once loud, abrasive, unapologetic and deeply sympathetic. While telling their individual stories they also give testimony to our shared collectiveness as women. Although very raw, and at times more like an extended spoken word piece than a play, it provokes discussion in a way that is necessary in Toronto today.

Shecky’s Yoga Sequel (B-)
One part yoga class, one part Hebrew school lesson, and one part comedy show – Shecky is back dishing out more “Oy-ms” and lessons about faith, flexibility and inner peace. A yoga novice myself, this is less a play and more of an interactive experience, albeit a great way to let loose, stretch it out and listen to a truly one of a kind gentleman tell you about his world view. I may not be any more enlightened, but I had a great time.

#Scarecrow (C-)
A young girl is found dead in a motel room? Foul play, or simply a tragic accident? Through posts, texts, tweets and emails, we go back to see her relationships with her friends and what led to the events of the evening. Although there are bright spots, especially actresses Jennah Foster-Catlack and Celia Aloma, the play ultimately drags under the weight of its own narrative. Conversations are far too wooden, and there are too many tropes for the underlying message to shine through. Side plots are often prioritized over the main scene, and as the show meanders towards its end much is left unresolved.

The MyTheatre Favourites Advertising Discount: 
If your Fringe show scores an A+ or A, you can cash in on that goodwill with a 50% discount on advertising your show (this one or the next one) on My Entertainment World. If you scored an A- or B+, we’ll knock 25% off the ad price. Discounts also apply to all past MyTheatre Award winners (50% off), and nominees (25% off) in Toronto, Boston or New York. Email us for details.

NEW THIS YEAR: “Play Of The Day” Ad Auction
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