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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘toronto fringe festival

[NEWS] Five links about queer culture, from our history to our presence today

  • As VICE notes, it is terribly frustrating that we still have to fight to make sure others do not lie about our queer lives.
  • Julia Carpenter at the Washington Post tells of “Lisa Ben”, the Hollywood secretary who started a periodical for lesbians back in 1949.
  • VICE tells the story of how a young man from Fort McMurray became the Fringe-headlining drag star Beardoncé.
  • There is something to Jason Chen’s article at The Cut praising the idea of the GLBTQ-themed book club as a venue.
  • Brandon Taylor’s Lithub essay arguing that queer literature must represent the extremes of queer experiences moves me.
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[MoT] Six Toronto Fringe Festival reviews (#fringeto)

This year, I happily again had the chance to review plays in the Toronto Fringe Festival for venerable local theatre website Mooney on Theatre. The six plays below are the ones I reviewed.

  • Good Morning Apocalypse’s 13 Ways The World Ends is amusing apocalypse sketch comedy. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/06/13-ways-the-world-ends-flash-dazzle-productions-2017-fringe-review/
  • “Not Enough”, featuring Megan Phillips, is amazing theatre: Innovative, brave, thought-provoking. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/06/not-enough-megatron-productions-2017-fringe-review/
  • “Alone In This Together”, by Not Oasis, is smart, inventive and hilarious Toronto-centric sketch comedy, not to be missed. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/alone-in-this-together-not-oasis-productions-2017-fringe-review/
  • Post No Bills is a provocative show revealing the forgotten stories of our city, starting from The Ward. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/06/23/post-no-bills-then-speak-2017-fringe-review/
  • “You Are Perfect” is chilling, compelling theatre examining Manson Family’s Susan Atkins. Why did she do what she did? This show answers. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/you-are-perfect-white-horse-theater-company-2017-fringe-review/
  • “Motherland” is a play of vivid characters, illustrating the eternal conflict between the local and the global. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/motherland-amber-heart-productions-2017-fringe-review/

    My favourite is “Not Enough.” I cannot emphasize the way in which this one-person show is not just brilliant theatre but authentically thought-provoking. We all would do well to take lessons from this show.

  • Written by Randy McDonald

    July 7, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    [PHOTO] Eight photos of the last night of the Toronto Fringe Festival at Honest Ed’s

    With the demolition of Honest Ed’s scheduled for the end of the year and the subsequent shift of the Toronto Fringe Festival’s Fringe Club to the Scadding Court Community Centre at Bathurst and Dundas, last night was my last chance ever to photograph the Fringe Club in the habitat where I first encountered it. So, I did.

    In front of the Alley #toronto #honesteds #thealley #fringe2016 #fringeto

    Last night #toronto #honesteds #thealley #fringe2016 #fringeto

    The lights aglow #toronto #honesteds #thealley #fringe2016 #fringeto

    By the wall posters #toronto #honesteds #thealley #fringe2016 #fringeto #posters

    Amid the tents #toronto #honesteds #thealley #fringe2016 #fringeto

    Box office by night #toronto #honesteds #thealley #fringe2016 #fringeto

    Fringe at Mirvish Village #toronto #honesteds #thealley #fringe2016 #fringeto #mirvishvillage

    Heading home #toronto #honesteds #thealley #fringe2016 #fringeto

    Written by Randy McDonald

    July 10, 2016 at 10:23 am

    [URBAN NOTE] On next year’s shift of the Toronto Fringe Club to Scadding Court

    blogTO was one of the several news sites to note the impending shift of the Toronto Fringe Club from its location nestled between the buildings of Honest Ed’s down to Bathurst and Dundas, down to the Scadding Court Community Centre. The Toronto Star‘s Karen Fricker has more.

    Following a seventh and final festive year in Honest Ed’s Alley, the Fringe Club — the indie theatre festival’s social headquarters — will be located from 2017 on at Scadding Court Community Centre at Bathurst and Dundas Sts., which will be transformed, in the Fringe’s words, into an “urban playground.”

    The move is necessary because of the upcoming closure of Honest Ed’s discount store, part of the transformation of the southwest corner of Bloor and Bathurst into a new large-scale commercial-residential project.

    For Fringe executive director Kelly Straughan, the move is also an inevitable result of the 28-year-old festival’s ongoing growth: “one step further” in the progress from its early social headquarters at the Tranzac Club on Brunswick Ave. to the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s where the club has been held since 2010 and now to Scadding Court, which include a large parking lot and a dry pad (in winter, an ice rink).

    This larger location — the biggest footprint ever for a Fringe Club — will mean an expansion of its beer gardens, which after dark become a major hangout for the arts community or, as Straughan calls them, “hardcore Fringers.” Shipping containers will double as the bars themselves, an approach that builds on Scadding Court’s Market 707 along Dundas St., at which community vendors sell food out of converted containers.

    Straughan underlines that the move keeps the club relatively close to the festival’s Annex origins and on the Bathurst St. corridor where its major traditional venues (Factory and Tarragon theatres and Theatre Passe Muraille) are located, and that Scadding Court also resonates with the Fringe’s identity as a community festival.

    NOW Toronto‘s theatre critic Glenn Sumi notes the change that will occur.

    The current Fringe Club, located right on Bloor West, fits right into the student-fed liveliness of the Annex. While Dundas West is becoming more popular – and hey, there’s a 24-hour Mickey Dee’s there – it doesn’t have the same vibrancy. For now, anyway.

    It’ll also be harder to get to by subway, although there are streetcars on Bathurst, Dundas and Queen.

    The ever-popular beer gardens will take up residence in the SCCC parking lot, and the outdoor hockey rink will house an arts market, complete with performance stage. There’s no word yet on whether those shipping container-style eateries along the south side of Dundas will take part or extend their hours. They’ve done a lot to transform the neighbourhood.

    The festival is looking to integrate the Scadding Court Drama Interact program for youth and young adults who are physically or developmentally challenged into the fest. And it will be working with Scadding Court’s Newcomer Integration Program to provide work and volunteer opportunities. All good things.

    [PHOTO] Entering the Alley, Honest Ed’s

    Entering the Alley #toronto #fringe2016 #fringeto #honesteds #thealley

    Written by Randy McDonald

    July 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    [MoT] 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival reviews

    This year again, I’ve been reviewing plays in the Toronto Fringe Festival for Mooney on Theatre. This year, I did seven.

    • Silk Bath, currently playing at the Tarragon, is an intense dystopia looking at how difficult it can be for Chinese newcomers to fit in.
    • A Minor Mid-Career Retrospective, at the Factory, is a delightful hour of comedic monologues by NPR star James Judd.
    • War Tapes, playing at the Factory, is a thoughtful slice-of-life examination of what intimacy is in our high-tech networked world.
    • Damn Tank, playing at the Factory, is a futuristic dystopia examining the life of a pair of euthanasia technicians in a dying world.</li
    • Mr. Nep?, playing at St. Vladimir’s Theatre, is a delightful science fiction comedy looking at the complications around mind uploading.
    • Mr. Nep? (KiS Productions)
      My favourite of the Fringe, Kneel! Diamond Dogs is a fantastic solo show by Michael Posthumus at the Tarragon, looking at how one man used his love for Neil Diamond and David Bowie to break into the world.

    • Evolution / Mr. Truth is a two-part show playing at the Randolph, Evolution being a quietly compelling dance engaging with evolutionary change, Mr. Truth aiming for provocative dark comedy.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    July 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    [PHOTO] “Fringe”

    "Fringe" #toronto #honesteds #thealley #fringe2016 #fringeto

    Written by Randy McDonald

    July 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm