Toronto Fringe: Medicine, Pluto’s Revenge, One in a Million
Good lord, the heat! Stop the heat! This city is quickly turning into a human barbecue, but I’m still running around and catching shows.
It seems like everybody I’ve spoken to in this festival has told me to go see TJ Dawe. People who aren’t here have tweeted to me about him – Vic let out a quick yell when she realized she might be able to meet the guy. Can you say hype?
In this show, Dawe tells us about a therapeutic retreat he once undertook with a famed psychologist and some shaman. That’s all I’m willing to say about the story, as any further knowledge would surely take away from the wonderful experience that is Medicine. The people were right: Dawe is a story-telling force to be reckoned with. The show is well-structured, with quick sidebars throughout, adding an element to the story being told. It only took a few minutes for Dawe to have the audience in the palm of his hand, and he worked them with ease. A great show, and a definite must-see for lovers of true stories.
Billed as a dance comedy, Pluto’s Revenge attempts to tell the tale of Pluto, as she receives the news that she is no longer a planet, and tries to get her revenge upon the universe. Unfortunately, the show ends up simply telling the story of a Fringe show gone wrong. Just a few seconds in, I felt a bit of worry at the direction of the show, and within minutes my suspicions were confirmed. Pluto’s Revenge feels like an idea that came up suddenly and somehow found itself onstage, under-developed and poorly written and structured. Though it might be enjoyable for young children, I see no reason why anybody over the age of 7 would really need to see the show in its current state. Given a few re-writes and new choreography, this one might be worth a shot again.
One in a Million
From the mind of Ron Fromstein comes One in a Million, an age-old tale about sperm trying to get its job done. Featuring a tremendous ensemble and some fantastic songs throughout, One in a Million is an absolute delight. The few characters in the piece develop nicely, and though parts of the story are easily predictable, I somehow wasn’t bothered. The charming cast and the live music made it impossible to look away as the story evolved. It would have been easy to veer into the no-brain jokes in this piece, and just make mockeries of the standard male/female dynamic throughout the show, but Fromstein managed to stay away. Enough said: It’s a great show, go see it, and thank me for it!