A bunch of shows are trying to be this year’s Drowsy Chaperone. They include the self-explanatory Quarter Life Crisis – The Musical People Suck, a song cycle about horrible folks and I’m Right Here, about our relationship to social media the curiously titled Johnny Legdick, A Rock Opera cabaret artist extraordinaire Ryan G. Hinds‘s Starry Notions the country-music-themed The Famous Haydell Sisters Comeback Tour the mom-centric Mumsical. And don’t forget the industry Tent Talk So You Want To Write A Musical?, just in case you want to get in the Fringe next year.
2. Funny people
This year’s Fringe offers a bumper crop of funny people doing (let’s hope) funny shows. Marshall Lorenzo‘s Everyone Loves Marineland features a hilarious cast under the always good directorial touch of Shari Hollett promising sketch shows include duo Peter n’ Chris‘s Here Lies Chris, Sex T-Rex‘s SwordPlay: A Play Of Swords, Falcon Powder‘s God’s Beard! (The Only Sketch Show That Has Ever Happened) and The Weaker Vessels‘ Public Displays Of Narcissism make sure you find time for two-time NOW cover dude Gavin Crawford‘s “Friend” “Like” #Me and the return of Morro And Jasp Do Puberty. Stand-ups doing the Fringe include Rhiannon Archer (Life Records), Zabrina Chevannes (A Nurse’s Worst Nightmare) and Graham Clark (Graham Clark Reads The Phone Book).
3. Puppet shows
For kids, there’s a version of Hamlet by Shakey Shake and Friends as well as Liver Diie, part game show and part monster mash. But there’s also stuff for adults, like Heart Puppetations, about a lonely puppeteer who builds a version of his ideal woman, and Fraggle Rock vet Frank Meschkuleit‘s My Big Fat German Puppet Show, which promises zombies, hand saws and fat guys. Don’t miss Caws & Effect by Mind of a Snail, a tale told from a bird’s-eye perspective.
There’s something for everyone in this category, from fairy tales for young audiences (Cinderella: It Ain’t Over Till The Show Fits and Hansel & Gretel) to a gender-switched update of G.B. Shaw’s The Philanderer. Christina Rossetti‘s Goblin Market has been adapted as Fruit Fruit Mouth Mouth, and long-time faves Shakespeare BASH’d return with the The Merry Wives Of Windsor. There’s more Bard with Ale House Theatre‘s production of Twelfe Night, Or What You Will.
5. Sci-fi stories
If you’re interested in alternate realities, don’t miss I Love You, Judy Merril, about the legendary sci-fi writer (and Toronto resident). Ron Fromstein‘s Zach Zultana: Space Gigolo explores interplanetary relationships while the kid-friendly The Crazy Space Adventures Of Princess Sparkly Butt & The Hot Dog Kid features a hero with “butt powers.”
Tickets at 416-966-1062, fringetoronto.com.