SARSical written and directed by the Rumoli Brothers (Brandon and Kurt Firla) and Waylen Miki (Severe Acute Repertory Theatre Company). At the Factory Studio (125 Bathurst). To June 18. Pwyc-$28. 416-504-9971. See Continuing, page 112 Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Wsoaring ballads like I kissed The SARS Babies and rock solos like Teen In Quarantine, SARSical , loosely based on real events, has the same strengths - and weaknesses - in its remount at the Factory that it had in last year's Fringe.
Like a Saturday Night Live skit, some portions drag, dwelling too long on quirky gags that don't get airborne. But the cast, composed almost entirely of Second City vets, quickly move the story out of the sloppy stuff with strong singing and the odd box step here or there (jazz hands optional).
Showstealers Paul Bates , as Mad Hatter Mayor Mel Lastman, and Doug Morency , as impresario David Mirvish, satirize City Hall's goofy, toothless sloganeering with deadly accuracy.
Remember the "Time for a Little T.O." campaign, the city's attempt to put a happy face on the summer of 2003, the last summer when the Canadian dollar was low enough to actually entice American tourists north of the border? Doesn't it sound like a dare to say something rude?
In the SARSical context, this bizzaro bumper sticker of a public statement sounds like a Rumoli Brothers gag, but like Mick Jagger being airlifted in for a fundraising concert, it really happened.
That's where this show succeeds. Not in belittling or insulting SARS victims, but in skewering the marketing of the epidemic.