Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review: (Toronto) Kill Sister Kill (Fringe)

The Loaded Nun
Singing, stabbing and sanctity come together in new musical
by Christian Baines
A gory, melodic throwback to the revenge porn flicks of the 1980’s, Kill Sister Kill is a musical that aims above its campy pitch to deliver a show that’s funny, lyrically nimble and jarring in just the right measure.
Lily (Stefne Mercedes) has taken off the habit for one night of sleazy celebration with her sister, Kitty (Nicola Atkinson). In the tradition of great revenge clichés, they are intercepted on the way home by the vicious, oversexed Dagger (Luke Slade) and his reluctant younger brother turned wingman, Ronnie (Jamison Child). Brutality ensues, and (word of warning) Child, also serving as director, does not shy away from this important aspect of the show.
Hell, you didn’t expect a musical with that title to be all fluffy bunnies, did you?
Instantly winning us over to Kill Sister Kill however, are its opening songs. With a touch of familiarity, the lyrics (by Mercedes, composer and musical director Tamara Saringer and Child, again) a peppered with great gags that not only disarm and relax the audience, but effectively set an off-kilter tone for what’s to come. It must be said however, that the tone does shift from the campy absurdity of the opening to a pretty humourless second act. 
The entire cast is in great voice, particularly Mercedes and Atkinson. Admittedly, they also get the best songs (no, this isn’t Disney, so our villains, in comparison, luck out). Hellbent Nun in particular is a wonderfully playful (and memorable) riff on revenge-driven spaghetti westerns.
Kill Sister Kill takes a simple, even clichéd concept and turns it into something fresh and entertaining that transcends its campy origins, while at the same time celebrating them.
Duration: 60mins

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