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Thursday, June 23, 2016

12 shows to see at the Toronto Fringe Festival 2016

toronto fringe festival 2016The 2016 edition of the Toronto Fringe Festival kicks off on June 29 and runs until July 10. The arts-filled extravaganza features more than 150 shows at venues across Toronto. There's truly something for everyone, whether you're looking to catch an ancient Greek tragedy or a whimsical musical or anything in between.

Here, in no particular order, are my picks for this year's Toronto Fringe Festival.

Romeo and Juliet Chainsaw Massacre
The stakes get even higher in this Shakespeare-Texas Chainsaw Massacre crossover. Basically, it's the ultimate teen horror flick brought to life on stage, but this show's billed as a comedy so it should be a campy good time.

Twelfth Night... A Puppet Epic!
There's plenty of Shakespeare at Fringe this year, but novel takes (see above) on these classic plays are what make the festival so much fun. The latest "Puppet Epic" from Tom McGee and Shakey Shake and Friends is part of the FringeKids program and is suitable for children (and kids at heart) ages six and up.

Bright Lights
Kat Sandler and Theatre Brouhaha are established Fringe alumni and they're back with their latest play Bright Lights, which follows an alien abduction support group. 'Nuff said.

Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical by Jane Austen and Penny Ashton
This quirky, literary musical was a hit when it premiered in New Zealand. Now Toronto audiences can watch as creator and performer Penny Ashton takes on all of Jane Austen's character in this one-woman show.

Behold, The Barfly
The site-specific sketch comedy performance, based around a passed out barfly, takes place inside the Monarch Tavern. So head over to this Little Italy-area drinking hole, grab a pint and get ready to laugh.

Cam Baby
Jessica Moss's latest play explores hard-hitting issues such as privacy, identity, lookism and YouPorn. Peel yourself away from your computer (and web cam) to see this ensemble comedy dealing with the world wide web.

Life After
This award-winning musical by Britta Johnson follows a 16-year-old girl named Alice after her self-help guru father dies unexpectedly. See it at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace.

Join sketch comedy group Sex T-Rex on a post-apocalyptic journey directed by Alec Toller. Get to see a man and his talking dog companion battle warlords, mutants and cannibals at the Randolph Theatre.

The Fence
This song cycle by Anika Johnson, Barbara Johnston and Suzy Wilde features a cast of 40 and looks at the lives of young performing artists through storytelling, music and dance. It's billed as Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris meets Hamilton, so that's something.

The Unending (3 Short Plays)
Convergence Theatre present these three short plays - including work by Julie Tepperman, August Strindberg and Samuel Beckett - at three separate locations. You'll start the night at Aunties and Uncles (yes, the brunch restaurant) before heading to two other secret spots.

Head back to elementary school, literally. Eraser unfolds at the Westside Montessori School and this site specific show from the Homeland Collective explores what it's like to move through Toronto's multi-cultural school system.

Life List
With only 20 tickets available for each performance, you can join multi-disciplinary artist Alex Eddington on a storytelling tour through the Annex. Oh, and you'll be bird-watching along the way as you search for an elusive Annex-area specimen Eddington's late mother wanted him to find.

What are you looking forward to seeing at Toronto's Fringe Festival? Let us know in the comments.

Photo via Toronto Fringe on Facebook.

by Amy Grief via blogTO

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