Five Toronto Fringe Shows We’re Excited About

145 shows in 27 venues across Toronto — a tiny bit intimidating, even for veteran theatre-goers. From our tiny perch in New York, we’ve scanned listings and cross-referenced our own picks with those popping up on lists around the web to come up with five shows at this year’s Toronto Fringe that we think you should check out, for a variety of reasons, in no particular order:

  1. Swoon! (Factory Theatre Mainspace): Jason Maghanoy, who will be the new playwright-in-residence at Theatre Passe Muraille this fall, directs a strong collective of theatre-makers in what’s being described as “a brash, highly theatrical and wondrous look at young people, desire and the absolute moments of our lives.” Too much talent here to ignore, with a cast that includes SIA alum Jajube Mandiela.
  2. Raton Laveur (St. Vladimir’s Theatre): OK, we’re a bit biased as this show’s director and co-writer is none other than former Bridge Co-Artistic Director Amos Crawley, but Raton Laveur gives a famed Toronto menace some long overdue stage time. No way can you read this play’s description and not be just a little intrigued.
  3. The Godot Cycle (Honest Ed’s Underground Parking Lot): No two actors will work harder at this year’s festival than David Christo and Eric Craig (pictured above) performing the theatrical equivalent of a half and full ironman that is sure to attract its share of curious Fringers. Starting Friday at 6pm, the two performers will run Beckett’s masterpiece, sans intermission, for 30 consecutive hours, with guest performers filling out the other roles in shifts. The next Friday, they’ll do it all again, this time for 54 hours, from 6pm through the end of the festival Sunday night. They should probably win every award they qualify for by just pulling it off without collapsing.
  4. Mister Baxter (Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace): With three harrowing stories intersecting in the TTC underground, playwright Kate Fenton seeks to answer the question every Toronto subway commuter has at one point asked themselves: I wonder what that’s all about? Fringe goers often seek out production history when scanning their programs – Mister Baxter brings an award-winning run at the 2010 InspiraTO Festival to the table.
  5. Kim’s Convenience (Bathurst Street Theatre): The 2011 Toronto Fringe New Play Contest winner has soaked up much of the pre-fringe buzz and comes recommended by some pretty trust-worthy sources. The Toronto Fringe is, quite literally, a lottery, but this play seems like a sure bet.

Click here for a full listing of all the shows at this year’s Toronto Fringe.

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