Fringe Preview 2013: Solo/Duo
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Fringe Preview 2013: Solo/Duo

The Fringe format is ideal for shows with small casts. They usually require fewer costumes, smaller sets, and not as many paycheques. On the other hand, they often lack the manpower to promote themselves around the Fringe beer tent and the city at large. If you end up seeing and enjoying any of these picks, help out the creators by telling others about it.

Peter n’ Chris Explore their Bodies
Peter n’ Chris Comedy

Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson in Peter n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies

Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson in Peter n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies. Image courtesy of Peter n’ Chris.

PERFORMANCES:
Friday, July 5, 5:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 9:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday, July 10, 2:15 p.m.
Friday, July 12, 11 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 2:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 14, 12 p.m.

VENUE:
George Ignatieff Theatre (15 Devonshire Place)

The newest show from comedic duo (and blossoming Fringe veterans) Peter n’ Chris is described as “part Game of Thrones and part Chronicles of Narnia,” but we’ll wager there’s a good amount of The Magic School Bus too. (The plot takes the pair deep inside Chris’s body to find the source of his hypochondriac tendencies.) Peter n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies won “Pick of the Fringe” at the Vancouver Fringe Festival and sold out at the Chicago Sketch festival last year. The pair themselves have earned several awards for past shows. For Toronto Fringe audiences, we’re sure there are even more bodily pleasures yet to come. (Can’t make it to the Fringe show? Peter n’ Chris are also doing a one-night-only set of new material at Comedy Bar, on July 11).

(Carly Maga)

The Late Night Tonight Show LIVE in The Morning with CHICKA BOOM!
Chicka Boom

Jess Beaulieu and Laura Bailey, the ladies of Chicka Boom  Photo by Dan Epstein

Jess Beaulieu and Laura Bailey, the ladies of Chicka Boom. Photo by Chantale Renee.

PERFORMANCES:
Thursday, July 4, 7 p.m.
Friday, July 5, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, July 10, 7 p.m.
Friday, 
July 12, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.

VENUE:
Free Times Café (320 College Street)

Though Laura Bailey and Jess Beaulieu have been hosting this monthly showcase for funny females at Free Times Café since 2011, Fringe will give the ladies a lot more stage time. Their lineup of guests consists of some of the city’s sharpest comedic performers, including Amanda Brooke-Perrin, Sarah Hillier, and Rhiannon Archer.

(Kevin Scott)

Play Actually–a non rom com
iDiot Presents

PERFORMANCES:
Thursday, July 4, 8:15 p.m.
Friday, July 5, 5:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 12 p.m.
Monday, July 8, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9, 6:15 p.m.
Thursday, July 11, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 10:30 p.m.

Venue:
Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue)

This two-man show pokes fun at the often perilous adventures of people in love (or perhaps wishing to be). Expect storytelling, physical comedy, and lots of laughs. Stars Tim Monley and Katy Houska are, by all accounts, a hilarious duo.

(Jess Davidson)

The Truth About Comets
The Quickening Theatre

Ginette Mohr in The Truth about Comets, photo by Kate Fenton

Ginette Mohr in The Truth About Comets, photo by Kate Fenton.

PERFORMANCES:
Friday, July 5, 5:45 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9, 8:45 p.m.
Wednesday, July 10, 9:15 p.m.
Thursday, July 11, 1:45 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 12 p.m.

VENUE:
Tarragon Theatre Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue)

The team behind Fish Face, Mister Baxter, and The De Chardin Project returns with The Truth About Comets. Heavily influenced by the fact that many of the company members recently became parents, the show chronicles a lost boy trying to reconnect with his mother through radio frequencies, and how she must reconnect with her own mother in order to find him. This promises to be a haunting time for audiences, both visually and story-wise.

(Carly Maga)

Fear Factor: Canine Edition
John Grady

Man and Man's Best Friend meet in Fear Factor: Canine Edition  Photo courtesy of John Grady

Man and Man’s Best Friend meet in Fear Factor: Canine Edition. Photo courtesy of John Grady.

PERFORMANCES:
Friday, July 5, 8:45 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 12 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 1:15 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9, 5:15 p.m.
Wednesday, July 10, 9:15 p.m.
Thursday, July 11, 2:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 9:45 p.m.

VENUE:
George Ignatieff Theatre (15 Devonshire Place)

Chosen as Outstanding Drama at Ottawa Fringe 2012, actor-writer John Grady’s one-man show has now been honed on stages across North America. Employing a minimalist stage setup, he delivers a Spalding Gray–style monologue touching on the connections that develop between humans and canines.

(Kevin Scott)

My High-Heeled Life: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos
Sparking Fuse

Performances:
Thursday, July 4, 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 3:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 6:15 p.m.
Monday, July 8, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 10, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 6:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 14, 12:30 p.m.

VENUE:
Solo Room (30 Bridgman Avenue)

Sparking Fuse playfully asks if you’ve ever had an accidental orgasm in the shoe department, or whether you’ve wondered when Uggs and flip-flops became acceptable dinner attire. If you have, you might enjoy this solo performance, which also explores the question of why, in a world full of options, we opt to cope rather than celebrate. Perhaps, as this play may aim to prove, the quest for true happiness begins one pair of impossibly high stilettos at a time.

(Jess Davidson)

Liza Live! / The Homemaker
Total Betty Productions / Convection Productions

Jennifer Walls as Liza Minnelli. Photo by Colleen Yates.

PERFORMANCES:
Monday, July 8, 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9, 10:15 p.m.
Friday, July 12, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 2:15 p.m.

AND

Thursday, July 4, 8:45 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 11, 12 p.m.

VENUE:
The Annex Theatre (730 Bathurst Street)

Jeni Walls and Laura Anne Harris previously shared a performance space at this winter’s Next Stage Festival, and are now splitting up a Fringe slot between themselves. Walls brings her popular Liza Minnelli tribute show back, expanded and reworked, while Harris is debuting a new show and character: a clown-inspired series of vignettes about a lonely alcoholic housewife.

(Steve Fisher)

Assassinating Thomson
Monster Theatre

Bruce Horak. Detail of an image by Pink Monkey Studios/Kurt Firla.

PERFORMANCES:
Friday, July 5, 5:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9, 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, July 10, 9:30 p.m.
Friday, July 12, 6:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 1:45 p.m.

VENUE:
St. Valdimir’s Theatre (620 Spadina Avenue)

It’s been a few years now since Bruce Horak was in the Toronto Fringe with the remarkable one-man show, This Is Cancer, which earned the actor and writer international attention, including an interview on CNN. Now, Horak is back with a new show that also incorporates one of his other artistic gifts. In Assassinating Thomson, not only does he tell a conspiracy fable about the mysterious death of one of Canada’s greatest painters, he’ll also paint a portrait of the audience live on stage—a complicated task, considering the fact that he’s legally blind.

(Steve Fisher)

Radio :30
Night Kitchen Theatre

PERFORMANCES:
July 3, 7 p.m.
Friday, July 5, 1:15 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9, 5:15 p.m.
Thursday, July 11, 9:45 p.m.
Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 2:15 p.m.

VENUE:
Tarragon Theatre Mainspace (30 Bridgeman Avenue)

Toronto audiences have come to know Chris Earle as a director and writer who shifts seamlessly between comedy and theatre. (Most recently, he was the writer behind the tightest Dora Mavor Moore Awards ceremony in over a decade.) But Earle is a powerhouse performer, too, and he’s bringing back one of his most popular shows, Radio :30, a solo piece that earned him a Dora Mavor Moore Award for playwriting, as well as a Chalmers Award, a Canadian Comedy Award, and a CBC TV special.

(Steve Fisher)

See also:

Fringe 2013:
Ensemble
Fringe 2013:
Something Different

CORRECTION: July 3, 2013, 1:45 PM This post originally included an incorrect image credit for a photo of Jess Beaulieu and Laura Bailey.

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