Delirium

The last day of the Fringe is a mad dash. People running around, looking to see final shows. Everyone murmuring repeated reviews to friends; everyone but me, since I decided to attend a show stag. My final night at the Fringe was artfully designed as a masturdate. A night where I could enjoy life by myself while I watched Delirium at the Rarig Thrust.

Alone, I found a place in the back of the theater and quickly found a solitary Martin Dockery inhabiting the stage. The space didn’t appear to lend itself well to a single player, but Dockery found a way to make his slender frame take up room as he told stories. Stories that I won’t summarize due to my lacking what Dockery so clearly has.

I wouldn’t call it panche, jua de vivre, or even personality. Don’t get me wrong, all of these traits are seen and enjoyed throughout the show. But the performance has something a bit more: a slow methodical sincerity. Like a back beat that is so easily ignored until it’s gone, Dockery’s personal stories hold a growing sense of trueness in its various forms. Whether it be fear, rage, or love, the gradual escalation of these emotions is experienced alongside a consistent comedic tone.  

Jokes are told throughout the performance. But more likely you’ll be laughing at the merry mania behind the machinations of a very odd man. This is essentially the heart of Delirium: an explanation and history of a very odd man.

I went to the show alone, and I stand by that behaviour by the way, but after enjoying the performance I came away with a bit of Dockery (and a renewed appreciation for the flaming lips).

It’s a Musical, Get Over Yourself

Saturday the 11th, the second to last day of the Fringe. Like many theater goers, I found myself in line, with a friend, waiting for Right, Wrong or Bomb! A Dating Musical. The line held a cavalcade of peoples: parents, kids, students, professionals, hipsters, preps, greasers, you name it. All of these strangers came together to see this musical. With this many people I thought it was watching a sure thing, and in a sense I was right.

The musical follows the story of Jill and her decision to begin the exciting task of online dating, mainly via Tinder. Somehow oblivious to online dating, Jill has her sassy best friend, Hayley, and her spiritual best friend, Maya, help her to find love. Together the trio go through Tinder encountering all types of men and along the way they run into Jill’s mother, coworker, and Ryan Gosling body pillow. And all the while, the splendid cast of characters sings a variety of enjoyable songs.

Now the worst thing I can say about this musical is that it’s fun. It’s fun. And I don’t mean that in a condescending way, or as a backhanded compliment, The show is fun. Period. Right Wrong or Bomb! A Dating Musical follows a fun formula that we all know from romcoms, sitcoms, and most other comedy sub-genres. At first I was really bothered by the call and response joke telling, but after a few one liners from Hayley and I began to enjoy myself.  Which is entirely the point of this musical.

This musical will not ask you to question the current state of affairs of romance, or examine rape culture, or feminism, or anything at all that could possibly be related to online dating. This musical will make you laugh and entertain you with song. Jaded cynics will ask for more, but to that I say: every kind of person who saw this show was laughing, get over yourself.

While the show featured a charismatic cast, the performances of Rachel Austin as Hayley and Teri Parker Brown as Sally stood out amongst the rest. Austin played the best friend, Hayley, with brevity and controlled timing. Her quick takes on the men and snide, knowing nature were ever present and much appreciated. And Teri Parker Brown! Her bits as dotting, old mother unable to find the cloud will make you laugh. But her voice will make you think of brunch, fireworks, and other moments of dynamic jubilation; which makes it unfortunate that we didn’t see hear her more.

I would tell you to go see this show, but alas I was at the last performance. If you’re lucky you’ll see it at the audience encore. If not, try a tinder date instead, I hear they’re kind of fun.