Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: (Toronto) Callaghan! and the Wings of the Butterfly (Fringe)

When Shorter is Better
by Zoe Erwin-Longstaff

In several years of Fringe attendance I had never seen a production with such polished synchronization of sound, lighting, musical and choreographed effects.  Callaghan, taking its inspiration from the Indiana Jones movies, is a rumbustious spoof, chock full of balletic fight scenes and cliff dangling escapes.  Save for the title character, each member of the six-person cast takes on numerous minor roles, many accented, as well as playing various kinds of scenery. 

Sean Murray, as Dr. Klaus Von Handerstopp, the evil mining magnate, is the most over the top character and thus most fun to watch.  Kailin Morrow, as the lone woman in the cast, stands out with her great physicality playing both male and female roles.  Our hero, Callaghan, pulls off the bromance that exists at the center of the plot and projects a schlubby perplexity well, but we could have used a more engaging central character. 

The play does a disservice to itself by prolonging with its many longueurs and repetitive jokeyness.  A shorter version with fewer fight scenes, impressive as they are, would have been just as exhilarating.  But the energy of the cast never flags and each ensemble member, Connor Bradbury, Josef Addleman, Etan Muskat, has their own hilarious moment!  

Callaghan! and the Wings of the Butterfly is at the Toronto Fringe

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