Fringe review: Flight Of The Ballooncaster: The Hottest Air


Flight of the Ballooncaster Fringe of Toronto 2022
Graphic design by Ajaibs

FLIGHT OF THE BALLOONCASTER: THE HOTTEST AIR by Devon Hyland and Connor Thompson (Balloon-Based Productions/Toronto Fringe Festival). At the Factory Studio (125 Bathurst). July 9 at 8:15 pm, July 12 at 2:30 pm, July 14 at 9:30 pm, July 16 at 12:45 pm, July 17 at 4:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN

After a veteran sports broadcaster disappears the same day he decides to retire, his long-time colleague (who’s obsessed with making it into the Broadcaster Hall of Fame) becomes the prime suspect.

That’s the premise of this whimsical, amusing and slightly laboured musical that features hot-air balloons, cops who speak in Elizabethan English and talking royal birds.

Writer/performers Devon Hyland and Connor Thompson are Second City alumni, which explains why some scenes feel like they were developed from improv exercises. The pair switch genres with ease, slip into multiple characters (often in the same scene) and have a go-for-broke attitude towards donning accents, singing songs and mouthing tongue-twisting phrases.

The pre-recorded musical accompaniment sometimes drowns out their singing, however, and at times the absurd humour feels forced.

But both actors revel in playing characters who are full of hot air, and the fun they have performing is infectious.




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