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Published on July 9th, 2013 | by Sharilyn Johnson

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Toronto Fringe Festival is all wet!

Heavy rain closed the Fringe Club bar Sunday, which seemed like the Toronto Fringe’s greatest tragedy (beer?!) up until the even heavier rains Monday. Multiple shows were cancelled due to flooding, power outages, or stranded performers.

Rolling blackouts on Tuesday afternoon hit some areas surrounding the Annex, and killed power to the Factory Theatre.

This is a complete list of productions that have been impacted (if more are cancelled, please leave ’em in the comments). Consider adding at least one of these shows to your schedule, as losing a performance can be a big financial hit for Fringe artists.

Tuesday:

  • DABDA (partway through when power was lost), Factory Theatre
  • Happiest Place on Earth (partway through when power was lost), Palmerston Libraray
  • Adventure! (cancelled), Factory Theatre
  • Charming Monsters (cancelled), Factory Theatre
  • The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! (performed “unplugged” at the Mirvish Rehearsal Hall), Factory Theatre

Monday (all cancelled):

  • The Nature of a Bullet, Theatre Passe Murielle Backspace
  • Kill, Sister, Kill, Factory Theatre
  • Corpus Matris, Theatre Passe Murielle Mainspace
  • Weaksauce, Theatre Passe Murielle Backspace
  • Stay With Me, Palmerston Library
  • Elizabeth-Darcy, Campbell House Museum
  • Here, Randolph Theatre
  • Give up the Ghost, Annex Theatre
  • How to become a spinster, Factory Theatre
  • Good Girl, Annex Pawn
  • Sour Grapes, Theatre Passe Murielle Mainspace
  • The 8th Day, Theatre Passe Murielle Backspace
  • I Hired a Contract Killer, Annex Theatre
  • Musical of Musicals, Factory Theatre
  • The Oak Room, Theatre Passe Murielle Mainspace
  • Killcreek, Randolph Theatre
  • Fort Isabel, Theatre Passe Murielle Backspace

Patrons who purchased advance tickets for these performances are asked to contact the Fringe box office at 416- 966-1062 for refunds or to reschedule.

In other Fringe news….

I reviewed 15 Toronto Fringe shows for NOW Magazine this year (and boy, are my fingers tired). Read why OH GOD – THE DRUMS, Jem Rolls Attacks the Silence, 2-Man No-Show-3, and I Hired a Contract Killer were my top picks. Check out all the reviews on NOW’S Fringe hub, and watch for the extended dance mixes in this Thursday’s print edition.

“Get well soon” to NOW critic Glenn Sumi, who wiped out in the rain on Sunday and required stitches (he’ll be fine, folks). And even though it’s old meme now (a whole day ago!), feel free to join the #GlennSumiLegInjuryFringeShow mashup game on Twitter.

I tweeted about this over the weekend, but it irks me that the Tip the Fringe appeals are worded to hide the fact that artists pay a $750 fee to be in the festival. Tip the Fringe is a necessary fundraising initiative, no argument there. However, this: “The entire box office goes straight to the artists!” / “We’ve returned almost $6 million to artists since our inception!” / “The Fringe survives on grants, sponsorships, and donations!” is misleading and downplays the sacrifice artists make to be here. I honestly believe that if patrons knew that their ticket purchase doesn’t automatically equal artist profit, they’d support more shows, and it would only make the Fringe healthier. (Insert Dennis Miller’s catchphrase here.)

Another twitter experience: a heckler (legitimate, not a plant) marred a performance of The Final Trick of a Shoddy Magician at the Annex Theatre on Sunday. I finally turned to him and said, “nobody likes you.” (May as well be direct.) He seemed to get the point, but later had the additional nerve to defend himself and therefore out himself on Twitter, causing a beautiful smackdown from artists and Fringe supporters. He attended this show – note again the title – expecting a quality magic performance, and was pissed off that the tricks sucked. I can’t make this up, folks. Oddly, nobody in charge tried to intervene, and the volunteer watching the show didn’t even flinch.

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About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.



2 Responses to Toronto Fringe Festival is all wet!

  1. Chun says:

    Do you mind appending a link to the twitter bickering about that heckler at the shoddy magician show? I was there as well so I’m curious what the heckler was thinking.

    Regarding your comment on the volunteer’s indifference, I want to emphasize that the heckler seemed to be scripted as his shouts came at the right moments and even the magician had a line acknowledging the heckler. Now that line seemed to be an excellent improvisation though. I also volunteered for the fringe for 3 years but not this year. Please don’t assume that volunteers know who are part of the cast.

  2. Sharilyn Johnson says:

    This is the bulk of it: https://twitter.com/thirdbeat/status/353990471254687744

    I agree with your point re: the volunteer. I’m probably more surprised re: the stage manager doing nothing, but maybe that would have just made things worse. Who knows.

    The kid was one of three low-class looking young people, student-age (though I think the education level is questionable). When the guy started booing under his breath, the girl beside him shushed him in that vile “you’re terrible, but I secretly love it” way, so he just did it more. The performer’s line was good, when he finally got to it.

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