Fringe review: The Ding Dong Girls

THE DING DONG GIRLS by Christopher Richards and Gordon Bowness (MoGo Co.). At the Factory Mainspace. July 11 at 8.


THE DING DONG GIRLS by Christopher Richards and Gordon Bowness (MoGo Co.). At the Factory Mainspace. July 11 at 8 pm, July 12 at 5:15 pm, July 13 at 2:15 pm, July 14 at noon. See listing. Rating: NN

A musical about a group of misfit drag queens in 1990s Toronto sounds like it should be fun and informative, but Christopher Richards and Gordon Bowness‘s The Ding Dong Girls is neither.

Featuring soporific narration read by veteran drag queen Mama Dominatrix, as someone named Rita-Dina Wedlock, the show attempts to tell the story of five frenemies who decide to take the city by storm… where and how remains to be seen, but we’re told they do. And then something tragic happens to one of them.

The actors, headed by the charismatic, flashing-eyed Graham Conway, are at least watchable, especially in Richards’s gorgeous candy coloured costumes. And there are some clever lines in the book, such as, “Our divorce is happier than most marriages.”

But under the direction of John Mitchell, the traditional beats of this rise-and-fall story aren’t in place we seem to get an introductory number introducing them… at the end.

The program says this is an abridged version of a longer, two-act musical. I hope that version fleshes out the characters and story so that when the narrator intones, “What the hell was that?” audience members won’t be nodding in agreement.

Brand Voices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *