Toronto’s Fringe Festival enters it’s 39th year with an onslaught of art, music, and theatre within its newly established Fringe Club. Due to the closure of a beloved Toronto landmark, Honest Ed’s, the festival has relocated to Scadding Court at Bathurst and Dundas. This change welcomes a fresh lineup of free, (yes, I said the “f word”) performances to attend with your friends, family, mistress, or seventh-grade gym teacher. Seriously, there is something here for everyone.
Fringe Executive Director Kelly Straughan describes the Scadding Court as the new home and heart of the Fringe Festival. Straughan states that the space “allows for more free programming including the inaugural Fringe Music Series on the Outdoor Stage. These free, walk-up experiences are often the gateway for new audiences to discover the festival, which itself is a gateway to discovering the love of live performance. With the international celebration of the 70th anniversary of Fringe Festivals worldwide added into the schedule, it is going to be an exciting festival.”
The festival is on from July 5th until the 16th, so if you have not had a chance to check things out for yourself, do not fret – you still have the chance. From the Fringe’s Outdoor Stage, to the Fringe After Dark in the Fringe Tent, there is lots to see. Alternatively, if you feel like kicking back and taking it easy, you can enjoy the festival’s beer garden and patio. Now if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.
We at Novella love to make things smooth as a baby’s bottom for our readers, and took some time to put together a list of acts that you don’t want to miss out on during this years Fringe.
ABOUT TIME by the Templeton Philharmonic
Hitting the stage at the Tarragon Theatre’s Mainspace, this lovely duo, “will take you on a darkly comedic odyssey through the ages.” The duo features writers and performers, Gwynne Phillips and Brianna Templeton, as they poke fun at “humanity’s foibles throughout history.” Phillips and Templeton are no strangers to the spotlight, winning “Best Duo” at the Los Angeles Comedy Festival and “Producers Pick” at the Toronto Sketchfest. If they aren’t already busy enough, these talented ladies also have a webseries called “Womanish” on CBC Punchline and are guest writers on CBC’s The Irrelevant Show.
TEN CREATIVE WAYS TO DISPOSE OF YOUR CREMAINS by Rose Napoli
He was a boy. She was a girl. They meet. “Ten Creative Ways to Dispose of your Cremains” is a “millennial love letter to the misfits of the Peter Pan Generation.” Starring Jakob Ehman and Rose Napoli, the play is for outcasts everywhere and pulls at our heart strings. Rose Napoli is no stranger to the Toronto theatre circuit. Napoli’s first play, Oregano, premiered at the Storefront Theatre last year to sold out houses and critical acclaim.
LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS LEMONS by Sam Steiner
Any avid Twitter user knows the golden rule: 140 characters or less. In “Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons”, cast members Ruth Goodwin and James Graham quite literally live by this rule under a law developed that limits the number of words you may say in a single day. Characters, Bernadette and Oliver, meet just as the law is about to be enacted and now they must pursue each other within this new regulation. “They struggle with its rules, with obedience, with themselves, and with how they are going to live. They must make words count, and yet learn to talk without them. Political change becomes very personal.”
THE SEAT NEXT TO THE KING by Steven Elliott Jackson
Starring Conor Ling and Kwaku Okyere, “The Seat Next to the King” is the winner of the “Best New Play” at this years Fringe festival. The play takes place in “September 1964. Behind the doors of a public washroom in a Washington D.C. park, two lives linked to two of America’s most important figures collide when a white man seeking sex meets a black male stranger.”