Need a fix of spookiness? The Troubled Souls Collective and the Spadina Museum hold a Midsummer Night's Séance tonight (Thursday, August 25) to raise funds for the theatre company's October run of More Haunted Masters , adaptations of chilling stories from the Victorian era. It's a follow-up to last year's Haunted Masters, a nicely atmospheric production staged in the Spadina Museum's attic. The funder, which takes place in the museum grounds, offers psychics, palm readers and astrologers as well as musical entertainment, refreshments and an hourly séance. See listings, page 90.
The Toronto International Improv Fest wrapped up its fourth - and by common consensus best - edition on the weekend. It was especially smart to program the Saturday Night Live writers for a Q&A session last Tuesday and a performance later that night - both sold-out shows, and according to one comic, "the best improv the city's ever seen."
Another smart move was programming the finals for the CageMatch competition on Wednesday night, where the energetic Kung F-U easily beat out the less focused As Is Syndicate for audience applause.
The cozy upstairs venue at Betty's proved a very good Fringe stage and was close enough to mainstage venue the Alumnae Theatre to provide a fest-like feel.
Locals Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring breezed through a solid show on Friday, and New York's Johnny Lunchpail infused their amazing set with lots of theatricality and visual inventiveness. Of all the acts I saw, Johnny Lunchpail knew best how to bring worlds to life with minimal effort. They also had a natural sense of play.
BeatBox are better rappers than actors, and in the concept show Normalville , Stacey Hallal and Jill Bernard seemed more on their marks than their male colleagues, Asaf Ronen and Bob Ladewig .
Doug Morency and Jack Mosshammer spent a little too much time warming up before their kick-ass final night set, but closing act BassProv were so good that they actually made it seem like we were watching a real comedy unfold. Pin-drop silence at a comedy show? Oh yeah, because the human conflict was as gripping as the laughs were funny.
Have you had a play produced that contains a good stand-alone speech for a male actor? The Playwrights Canada Press , assembling a new anthology of monologues for men, is looking for submissions. If the play has been published, please include publisher information; if unpublished, indicate where a script may be obtained. Monologues can't be longer than two pages and must include stage directions that set up the speech and briefly describe the character. Include the work's title, author and first production credits. Submission are limited to two per playwright. Deadline is September 15. For more info, contact Playwrights Canada Press at 416-703-0013.