NOW picks #fringe2016 highlights and where you can still catch ’em

The Toronto Fringe Festival wrapped up earlier this month. In the final year for the hub at Honest Ed’s, it was a great festival.

From the opening weekend onward, word got around that this was one of the strongest fests ever. Even competing with Canada Day and Pride Weekend, shows got great buzz. Artists earned $485,000 from tickets, bar sales on the Fringe’s final night set a record and, as you’ll see below, a bit of star power made the final weekend even more exciting.

Here’s NOW’s list of some highlights. And you can catch some of these at Best Of Fringe until July 27.

Best new plays Cam Baby Bright Lights Life After Out

Best ensembles Romeo And Juliet Chainsaw Massacre Life After Cam Baby Bright Lights Dance Animal: Toronto WasteLand The Unending Falling Awake Everything Else Is Sold Out Tonight’s Cancelled Elektra Exterminating Angel Persephone The Comedy Of Errors SexT Echoes: A New Musical

Best trend #1: comic performers showing their dramatic chops Ashley Botting in Cam Baby Amy Lee and Heather-Marie Annis (aka Morro and Jasp), Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson (aka Peter n’ Chris) and sketch performer Colin Munch in Bright Lights

Best trend #2: improvisation going bold places True Blue Songbuster – An Improvised Musical James Judd incorporating a medical emergency at one of his A Minor Mid-Career Retrospective shows into future ones

Best use of space The Unending Life List For The Record

Best multi-taskers (artists impressing us in more than one show) Anika Johnson (Life After, Daughters Of Feminists, The Fence) Colin Munch (Bright Lights True Blue) Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson (Peter Vs. Chris Bright Lights) Christopher Sawchyn (Persephone Echoes Fractals) Eric Miinch (Dan’s Inferno Behold, The Barfly!)

Best appearance by a celebrity Neil Patrick Harris, after asking on Twitter what he should do, saw three Fringe shows: True Blue, Romeo And Juliet Chainsaw Massacre and Bright Lights. He chose well.

The new ticketing system: Yea or nay? A qualified yea. The scanning of QR codes meant less paper, but sometimes those codes were on paper anyway, and the whole process slowed things down. House managers for sold-out shows got the idea to scan codes and give out tickets anyway, to speed up the process.

See all of our Fringe 2016 reviews here.

NOW staff

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