THIRTEEN OVER SEVEN written and performed by Jes Watson and Mark Andrada. Presented by there.are.thieves.about at the Poor Alex. July 8 at 8 pm, July 9 at 9:45 pm, July 10 at 5:15 pm, July 13 at 12:30 pm, July 14 at 9:15 pm, July 16 at 1:45 pm, July 17 at 4:15 pm.
WONKYTALKY written and directed by Jimmy Hogg. Presented by the Roodie Pancake Experiment at the Tarragon Extra Space. July 8 at 5:30 pm, July 10 at 11 pm, July 12 at 1 pm, July 13 at 4:30 pm, July 14 at 5:15 pm, July 16 at 8:45 pm.
IRON COBRA IMPROV presented by Becky Johnson at the Glen Morris. July 7 at 10:30 pm, July 9 at 7:30 pm, July 10 at 1 pm, July 11 at 6:15 pm, July 12 at 1 pm, July 13 at 8 pm, July 14 at 3:30 pm, July 15 at 11:30 pm.
It's a good thing Mark Andrada has a sense of humour. He's probably the busiest guy at this year's Fringe. Not only is he performing in three Fringe shows, one of which he's co-written, but he's also the technical director of the Poor Alex.
"Actually, I was busier another Fringe year," he says. "I had to do things like change into costume in cabs and rush past the audience while I was going to my show. This won't be that bad."
Still, Andrada's proven himself one of the city's best improvisers and clowns, so he knows how to juggle stuff on the spot.
For Thirteen Over Seven ("That's pi, by the way," he tells me), Andrada's reuniting with his old Theatresports partner, Jes Watson . It's an improvised show with clown elements. Wonkytalky , on the other hand, is an ensemble comedy about a dysfunctional set of siblings confined in an apartment.
When comedy partner Becky Johnson told him her Iron Cobra partner Graham Wagner wouldn't be able to join the show, Andrada offered to add his improv talents to the mix.
"There's nothing like being busy," he laughs. "I would hate to do one thing over and over. I don't know how people do it."
Andrada made a big splash earlier this year in the clown-packed show The Hollow. Thirteen Over Seven also draws on clown elements, but without the signature red noses or physical afflictions.
"Jes and I have agreed that if we feel like it we'll just drop the script and survey the audience and see what they want to see and do," he says. "I'm really hoping it'll be someone's birthday. I'll be ready with a cake and hat."
Don't expect to see him soon in a straight play.
"I'm not a huge fan of what I call dead theatre, where there's that fourth wall," he says. "That's why I like improv. It's fresh. If someone's cellphone goes off in the audience, why pretend no one hears it?"
He's done a lot of film and TV recently, including some work on the acclaimed series Wonderfalls. But he's learned that the big gestures that work on a stage are often too much for the small screen.
"The director kept looking at me and saying, 'Bring it down!'"
TV viewers might know him best from his popular commercials. He's the FedEx guy doing "a heck of a job," and the Post cereal guy in the chef's hat. But he best remembers a Molson beer ad in which he played one of several frat boys singing a song.
"I was touring with a children's show, and these kids from grades two to eight were singing the commercial's song to me," he laughs.
"I was thinking, 'Wow, I'm glad the commercial reached you - you are so not the demographic.' I feel no guilt at all."
THE FRINGE: TORONTO’S THEATRE FESTIVAL
Featuring local, national and international companies. Runs to July 17. $10 or less, $2 surcharge on advance tickets, discount passes. Advance tickets sold up to three hours before showtime by phone, online or in person at the Fringe Club (292 Brunswick); also by fax at least one day before show. At least half of all tickets for each performance are on sale one hour before showtime at thevenue; first show of the day and KidsVenue tickets available half-hour before showtime. No latecomers. Fringe hotline 416-966-1062, advance 416-967-1528, fax 416-966-5072, www.fringetoronto.com.
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