Fringeist: TJ Dawe Explains Gender
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Fringeist: TJ Dawe Explains Gender

2007_07_08Maximcosmo.jpg Confession: this particular Torontoist did not understand the meaning of TJ Dawe’s latest Fringe show’s title at all and was expecting a drama about two Frenchmen named Maxim and Cosmo to unfold inside the George Ignatieff Theatre. Instead, Dawe’s one-man talk-fest is a series of monologues on the subject of men and women and the title refers to gender-barometric magazines Maxim and Cosmo.
This show doesn’t follow a story in particular, just Dawe’s amusing ruminations on gender politics. Dawe is of course a very captivating performer, and his 90-minute shows are incredible feats of energy and memorization. However, 90 minutes is a long time for a show without a story, and Maxim & Cosmo never quite reaches the brilliant heights of his more narrative-driven shows, like The Slipknot. And while his musings are pithy, apt and often hilarious, unless you happen to be a particularly clueless straight guy, they aren’t likely to be terribly earth-shattering. Have you noticed how there’s no male equivalent to the word “slut”? Or how weird it is that women have to wear makeup when men don’t? If you have, your mind is not likely to be blown by this show.
Still, TJ Dawe’s Fringe shows always sell out for a reason. He’s an extremely talented performer with a completely delightful amount of energy. At times, he seems like a human version of Kermit the Frog. This show might not change your life, but it’s still pretty damn entertaining.