RANDOM ACTS OF LOVE by Bruce Gooch, directed by Sanjay Talwar (New Fangled Stages). Jan 10 and 12 at 7 pm, Jan 11 at 5 pm, Jan 13 at 3 pm. Rating: NNN
When thespian ex-lovers Victoria Daniels (Lynn Vogt) and Russell Thomas (playwright Bruce Gooch) reunite to perform Shakespeare, their history overpowers the drama onstage.
Gooch’s premise engages, and the script has funny lines (writers and actors will relate), but revealing the love relationship in flashbacks is stereotypical and unconvincing. Director Sanjay Talwar kills the pacing with clunky exits and slow costume changes that leave the stage empty. Vogt and Gooch show their true skills in the Shakespeare scenes (most notably The Taming Of The Shrew), making this a loving tribute to the Bard but a less than affectionate tribute to love.
THE NEXT STAGE a festival of new works and remounts. Presented by the Fringe of Toronto at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst). To January 13. $12-$15, passes $48 and $88. 416-966-1062, www.nextstagefestival.com.