MIDDLE RAGED by Gary Pearson and Geri Hall (Gary Pearson/Fringe). At the Robert Gill. July 5 at 2:15 pm, July 7 at 6:15 pm, July 9 at 5 pm, July 11 at 6:45 pm, July 12 at 8 pm, July 13 at 2:15 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN
Gary Pearson and Geri Hall – both with boatloads of television, film and stage comedy credits on their CVs – join forces in a sketch show about the many indignities of midlife.
Musician Jeff Rosenthal provides music and sound effects on keyboard, helping the duo poke fun at all the clichés of modern middle age, including marriage, kids, health issues and body changes.
The problem with Middle Raged is that much of it is middling, with cute parody songs and Star Trek riffs. However, it also contains some hot flashes of brilliance.
Standout scenes include one about intelligent design, complete with a white-board chart. Toronto’s classism gets skewered in a surprising way and you’ll be recalling a relatable sketch about body shaming each time you pass a mirror.
Even when some bits droop, Pearson and Hall maintain terrific onstage chemistry.