Fringe review: High Park Noir

HIGH PARK NOIR by Michael Bennett Leroux and Holly.

HIGH PARK NOIR by Michael Bennett Leroux and Holly Greene (Simply Twisted Productions). At Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. July 8 at 7:30 pm, July 9 at 3:30 pm, July 11 at 2:45, July 12 at 9:45 pm, July 14 at 5:45 pm, July 15 at 1:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NN

As the title suggests, this silly ensemble comedy imagines a by-the-numbers 1930s-styled detective drama unfolding in High Park – except all the characters are animals.

Surviving mainly on hit-and-miss animal puns, as well as Toronto-centric jokes about that dead raccoon and those escaped capybaras, the clunky plot centres on Dick, a hard-drinking raccoon detective who must track down a dog named Ziggy that is involved with some kind of revolutionary movement opposing impending condo development.

Both the action and scene transitions move at a snail’s pace, and the staging is way too static to build any momentum. While there are some cute creature moments involving cats, rabbits, groundhogs, bats and mice, the result is half-baked, not hard-boiled.

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