The Toronto Fringe Festival kicked off their 25th Season yesterday with a hot and sticky poster run, opening speeches featuring David Mirvish, Olivia Chow and more, and of course, tons and tons of theatre.
This year’s Fringe Club is the biggest and best it’s ever been, with awesome options for food, drink and entertainment. Add to that the 148 show options, and you’ve got a crazy two weeks in Toronto.
Thankfully, our city’s critics are hard at work compiling list after list of what you should make sure to check out at this year’s Festival – and I’ve compiled some of my favourites here:
1. Derrick Chua (aka The Godfather)
Those who know Derrick can attest to the fact that he’s practically superhuman when it comes to Fringe, seeing an insane amount of shows and tirelessly championing the Festival. You will be hard pressed to find a more educated opinion on what to see than his: https://www.facebook.com/notes/derrick-chua/2013-toronto-fringe-picks-by-derrick-chua/10151575906423393
2. J Kelly Nestruck (The Globe and Mail)
Nestruck takes a unique approach to his Fringe list, likening it to cheap alternative to Stratford and Shaw. Want to see Stratford’s Waiting for Godot? Check out Morro and Jasp! Bummed to miss Shaw’s Guys and Dolls? Try It’s Always You: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/summer-entertainment/8-fringe-alternatives-to-stratford-and-shaw-this-summer/article12962469/
3. Richard Ouzounian (The Toronto Star)
The Ouz opted to feature the awesome women of this year’s Fringe Festival with his piece on the glass ceiling being shattered. He takes a look at some of the more promising entries driven by women, including Theatre Brouhaha founder Kat Sandler’s We Are the Bomb and Sara Farb and Colleen Dauncey’s family friend Bremem Rock City (which coincidentally sold out its opening night) http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2013/06/28/toronto_fringe_festival_gives_women_a_chance_to_shine.html
4. The Torontoist:
Various Torontoist contributors worked together to compile their list of ‘off-kilter’ shows to make sure to catch at this year’s Festival. Fringe is known for it’s quirky offerings, and this is a great little list of six of the buzz-worthy and the bizarre: http://torontoist.com/2013/07/fringe-preview-2013-something-different/
5. Keith Bennie (BlogTO)
Bennie has compiled a list of 15 shows to watch at this year’s Fringe, and it includes a great mix of productions including comedy, musicals, family and the site-specific: http://www.blogto.com/theatre/2013/07/15_shows_to_catch_at_the_toronto_fringe_festival_2013/
6. Glenn Sumi and Jon Kaplan (NOW)
NOW’s theatre critics have teamed up to provide an awesome list of specific artists to keep an eye on during this year’s Fringe, including Kim’s Conveinence star Esther Jun, Hedwig’s Seth Drabinsky and comic Paula Wolfson: http://www.nowtoronto.com/stage/story.cfm?content=193370
7. Mooney on Theatre
MoT has already compiled some great pre-Fringe pieces (such as the comical ‘Rules to Break during Fringe’ round-up) but they’ve also pledged to have all 148 Fringe shows reviewed within the early days of the Festival. So check back often to help determine which shows you want to go see: http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/category/fringe-festival/
Finally – it wouldn’t be Fringe without some great parties, and this Saturday has one of the best offers around. The Fringe will celebrate it’s 25th Anniversary in retro-style with when they open up the Honest Ed’s parking garage for ‘Party Like it’s 1989!’ Grab your leg warmers, scrunchies and neon tights and get thee down to the Annex to dance the night away! Because really, who doesn’t love an 80′s party??? Don’t forget your sunglasses – in the 80′s, they wore them at night!