Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: (Toronto) VGL 5'4" Top (Fringe)

The Grindr of the Ego and The Soul
by Lisa McKeown

In his witty one-man show about the torturing realities of the dating world as a gay man, Lucas Brooks brings us into a world in which the six-pack is paramount. This visually-oriented world is often unforgiving, superficial, and cruel. But beneath that flashy layer lies the possibility of solidarity and the hope of real connection.  

Brooks’s writing is clever, and the story well-structured, using the typical categories for dating profiles to build the narrative. He did have some trouble at times wrapping his mouth around some of his lines, stumbling over words and leaving me slightly on edge during the performance, and working against the precision needed for the comic timing. Yet his passion and charisma balance some of that out, keeping the audience’s attention and appreciation evidenced by knowing smiles and chuckles throughout the entire performance. 

I was clearly not part of the main target audience, but as a woman I found myself relating to a lot of his criticisms and complaints about the dating world, like how hard it is to find oneself so objectified and reduced to superficialities. Dating is rough on the ego and the soul, and Brooks’s comedy provides some much needed perspective and humour to this grinding experience in which more and more of us are finding ourselves.   

VGL 5'4" Top is at the Toronto Fringe

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