BOY VS. FLY by Daniel Beitchman (A Dean Bean Adventure/Fringe). At the George Ignatieff. July 5 at noon, July 6 at 1:15 pm, July 8 at 3 pm, July 11 at 4:15 pm, July 13 at 12:15 pm, July 14 at 11 am. See listing. Rating: NNN
Writer Daniel Beitchman adapts his children’s book for the stage and director Kerry Griffin helps it sing (literally, the production includes some musical numbers) with the support of a cast of sketch, improv and children’s television performers.
The Boy in the title is Dean Bean (Spencer Litzinger from YTV’s The Zone) who gets distracted by a fly, inadvertently causing some mischief in math class and then learning about consequences. The performers really go with the flow of inevitable audience interruptions and incorporate outbursts into the show on the spot (in response to one young fan’s giggles Litzinger found “laughing cereal” in the cupboard).
Creating the biggest buzz is Simon McCamus as the pesky Fly whose fun physicality puts him all over the stage and even into the audience. He never speaks but he does sing a stanza with buzz sounds.
The show’s structure could be tighter – some scenes just seem like filler. But kids and their accompanying adults will enjoy the silliness and might appreciate contributing ideas to a fully improvised school song.