Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: (Toronto) The Truth About Comets (Fringe)

A Bright Shining Star
by Lisa McKeown

Ginette Mohr’s work in progress was a magical experience. The story is simple but bizarre: a young boy goes missing, disappearing into the radio waves, and a young woman and her mother need to team up to find him. 

This is more magical realism than it is sci-fi, however, and the play explores a number of themes surrounding human connections and disconnections mediated by the radio. The effects of the show are decidedly low-tech, but brilliantly executed: there’s a comet-puppet, a flashlight, and even walkie-talkies, which are in line with the thematic content of the play, while also demonstrating that a show doesn’t need flashy effects in order to provide dimension and atmosphere. 

The acting is fabulous. Ginette Mohr and Ingrid Hansen play a number of different roles each, displaying a wide range of characters with very distinctive voices and characterization, and the emotional tones of the play hit the comedic as well as some serious emotional resonances.  

It was a work in progress, however, and in terms of areas that might need improvement, there were certain plot points that were a bit unclear. For example I was never sure if the father had left the family, died, or simply disappeared. A reunion towards the end happens via flashlights – once again a clever idea that is cool to watch – but the plot development during the resolution and denouement is a bit unsatisfying, and seems to require something more. Nevertheless, this is a comet well on its way to stardom! 

The Truth About Comets is at the Toronto Fringe

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