As always, here’s our round-up of the Top 5 2017 Toronto Fringe shows we think you should see – we know they’re gonna be great because they feature past Bygone artists! Check it out:
Synopsis: It started out as a bet: could this team put together a sketch comedy show with thirty two sketches about bees – any kind of bees, from honey bees to the letter B to Bea Arthur (if we can get the impression right) – in sixty minutes? Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. Let’s find out!
Featuring: Created by Andrew Bushell (Bad Dog), Leigh Cameron (Second City), Claire Farmer (Dame Judy Dench), Jessica Greco (Dame Judy Dench), Shannon Lahaie (Dame Judy Dench), Chris Leveille (Dame Judy Dench), and Cameron Wyllie (O Dat Dum), and directed by Paul Bates (Second City).
Shannon Lahaie: You may remember Shannon as Susy in Wait Until Dark. While she did a stunning job as a young, blind housewife in this suspense drama, Shannon’s greatest strength is in comedy. I saw her last year in Everything Else Is Sold Our and it was absolutely brilliant. With many of the same faces onstage this year, I know this show will be a hit.
Shannon Lahaie with Eric Miinch, Bygone Theatre’s Wait Until Dark.
Synopsis: Newly-Singles Caitlin and Eric walk into a bedroom… and go on a painfully funny rebound to look back on their past relationships.
Featuring: Misery loves company! At a story-telling event in 2015, Eric Miinch (Fratwurst Comedy, Behold the Barfly Fringe 2016) told the audience a funny story from his personal heartache, and Caitlin Robson (Karenin’s Anna, Fringe 2014) countered with one from hers. Realizing what they had, they teamed up with Director Jess Beaulieu (Crimson Wave Comedy & Podcast), and through some improv, roleplay and imagination, they devised this candid, laugh-til-you-cry dialogue about love lost, and the art of moving on.
Caitlin Robson: You may remember Caitlin from her role as Miss Jeffries in our 2015 production of Rope. While this was another drama, Caitlin showed off her comedic timing at our Retro Radio Hour – Suspense! fundraiser, and I can’t wait to see her in this original show.
Caitlin Robson in Bygone Theatre’s Rope.
Jamieson Child & Caitlin Robson in Bygone Theatre’s Retro Radio Hour – Suspense.
Eric Miinch: Eric played the sinister Mr.Roat in last year’s production of Wait Until Dark. While he made for an excellent villain, it was very against his character, and almost felt like a waste not giving him a chance to show off his comedic improv skills. Eric shines in comedy, I can’t wait to see him in this.
Eric Miinch in Bygone Theatre’s Wait Until Dark.
Synopsis: Our casts are given their scripts and scores and asked to familiarize themselves with their roles – but not to reveal the show title or their role in it to anyone. With no rehearsals, the cast and crew meet for the first time one hour before the performance begins. The audience shows up with no knowledge of what show they’re about to see. The only rule: don’t stop. No matter what.
Featuring: It varies, but we recommend the June 9th performance as it features the lovely Elizabeth Rose Morriss!
Elizabeth Rose Morriss: Liz has been a Bygone staple from the beginning. You may remember her from her role as Miss Kentley in Rope, Gertrude Baldwin in His Girl Friday, her performances at our Vaudeville Revue, or from one of our many Retro Radio Hour shows. CMTP is an ambitious project at any time, but doing them for a Fringe sounds incredibly challenging. Liz is a wonderful actor and a beautiful singer, so you know that, regardless of what the show is, the June 9th performance is going to be great.
Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Elizabeth Rose Morriss and Eric Lehmann in Bygone Theatre’s Vaudeville Revue
Elizabeth Rose Morriss and Ian McGarrett in Bygone Theatre’s Rope
Elizabeth Rose Morriss and Alex Clay in Bygone Theatre’s His Girl Friday
Elizabeth Rose Morriss in Bygone Theatre’s Retro Radio Hour – Suspense
Synopsis: On The Inside is a docutheatre production inspired by Ashley Smith, a young female inmate from New Brunswick. Convicted of a minor infraction, Ashley later spent nearly three years in solitary confinement. This piece takes a close look at the effects of solitary on a young person and the hunger for relationships. Shame and vulnerability reveal themselves at different moments in the lives of an inmate, nurse and two prison guards. Each character journeys through the contrast between a harsh penal system and the reality of our universal desperation to be felt, heard and seen.
Featuring: Harry Lavigne, Ryan Christopher Kotack, Marnie Wohl Bennett, Kelechi Ofoha.
Ryan Kotack: Ryan was recently seen as Murphy in His Girl Friday, and before that as a cop in Wait Until Dark. In both of these roles, as well as others I’ve seen him in, he plays a gritty, disillusioned tough guy, and with the sound of this show I think he’s well cast and will be right at home – can’t wait.
Grey (Kenton Blythe)
Synopsis: Twelve years ago Richard Buttle killed Jayden Alexander. Today is the day of his parole hearing. Jumping through time, the circumstances that lead to the crime begin to unravel. Who is really to blame? Not everything is as black and white as one would like to perceive.
Featuring: Kenton Blythe, Andrea Carter, Kion Flatts, Mandy Roveda, Asante Tracey and Veshone Cunningham.
Kenton Blythe : You may remember Kenton from way back in 2013, when we mounted our second ever production, Dial M For Murder. Kenton played loveable crime-writer Max. Since then he’s gone on to perform in a tour of Evil Dead; The Musical and to do a season at the Shaw Festival. Can’t wait to see him onstage here at home!
Kenton Blythe as Max Halliday in Bygone Theatre’s Dial M For Murder
The Toronto Fringe Festival has an amazing 160 ticketed events, as well as over 50 free, drop-in events – so get out there and get Fringing!