In Hollywood, the hype machine is carefully crafted and finely tuned and targeted. Having someone spend their day flying over a major city with a banner for a movie (which has had mixed reviews) works to get AIS (asses in seat) and more importantly get some $IP (Cash in Pocket). But when it comes to Fr!nge, the budget gets a bit smaller, and hype is built up more by word-of-mouth and reviews. One would think, in an Occam’s razoresque way since the marketing is simpler and direct (i.e. from a friend), it would be correct, and trustworthy… Not so.
Torontoist is here to say: Don’t believe Fr!nge hype. Yesterday, Torontoist caught two of they hypiest shows of this year’s Fr!nge. How unfortunate.
Desperate Housepets was billed as a series of sketches about ordinary housepets. But things are not as they seem as these caged animals have secrets… secret lives… secret desires… secrets that will be revealed. But just like season two of Desperate Housewives, the show failed to deliver.
Simply put, Desperate Housepets is anthropomorphism at its mediocre. The play stayed well within an established comfort zone, remaking cliche stories… but this time with animals… get it? Each vignette left Torontoist thinking “been there, done that, and now I’ve seen animals do it.”
Quite unfortunate as well was the venue. Due to the lower stage and the less-than-stadium seating, Torontoist was unable to properly see the final sketch involving dogs at the pound. Not that it would have helped actually. Relying heavily on trite zoological gags this plays says a lot about banality. It could have worked so much better if it was a) about Desperate Housepets, and b) put on last year at the height of the Desperate Housewives popularity.
The only thing this play has going for it is that a portion of the proceeds go to
animal shelters The World Society for the Protection of Animals. Why not save time and cut out the middle man… Send your $10 directly to The WSPA, and put this desperate Fr!nge play to sleep.
Oddly enough, this show is likely to be sold out every showing, so get your tickets early… proof that high attendance does not a good show make.
Warning: Secrets are NOT revealed. Secrets are NOT exposed.
Pre-show music: The Cat Came Back and other animalic fare.
Check out the Fr!nge website and listings for dates, times and locations.