Fringe – last call

I’m ba-ack! By the time I got home, unpacked and fed on Saturday night, it was early evening – and I was pooped. But I did see two shows on Sunday.

An Evening with Tammy Faye, written by and starring Shannon McDonough as the titular (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a blog) televangelist, was a multi-media, disco ball sparkly extravaganza. McDonough’s transformation into Tammy Faye was so good it was scary. And that was one hot guardian angel!

Tightrope (by R.J. Downes, dir by Kate Fenton) first appeared in New Ideas back in March – and I loved it – and has changed quite a bit since then. And I still love it. The play still asks the question: Will the girl run away from the circus to join the “normal” world? Just without the bizzaro clown parents. The circus family still has mom as the Ring Mistress and dad as the lion tamer – just not in clown. There is still a clown presence, though (the warning for the play went thusly: Language, Clown) – Dodo, the newly arrived mute roustabout, a marvelously entertaining character played by Richard Beaune. Three of the New Ideas cast were part of this production: Mark Gibson (tightrope artist Johnny), June Morrow (Ring Mistress/Sheila’s mom) and Stephanie Seaton (Sheila). Will O’Hare (Lion Tamer/Sheila’s dad) and Adam Seybold (Mark, the other roustabout) joined the gang for the Fringe run. Nice work all around from this ensemble. More of a dramatic script this time around – but still retaining the conflicting magic and dysfunction of this circus performer family. I look forward to see where this play goes next.

I wish I could have seen more – but that’s how it goes.

But wait, there’s more! Here are some shows featuring Alum and Alum-related folks that will be re-mounted in the Best of the Fringe (July 14-31):

Love is a Poverty You Can Sell (featuring Scott Dermody) – which I didn’t see and glad to now have the chance to.

Short Story Long (featuring Kaitlyn Riordan) – saw it. Loved it.

Best of Fringe will be at the Toronto Centre for the Arts (studio) this year. For info, go to:

Check it out – you’ll be able to catch some great stuff you may have missed.

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