Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review: (Toronto) The Emergency Monologues (Fringe)

A Dude, a Wheel, and an Array of Stories
by Keely Kwok

Morgan Jones Phillips’ one-man show The Emergency Monologues is a collection of stories from his 10 years as a paramedic in downtown Toronto. What’s cool about this show is that there is a “Wheel of Misfortune” set up on stage. Each slice of the wheel’s pie has a different title on it and based on where the ticker lands, that’s the story Phillips tells. Thus, no two shows are the same and you never know what you’re going to get. 

As a performer, Phillips is very comfortable on stage. He has an earnest laid-back “dude” quality making him likeable and easy to listen to. The quality of his stories vary, some having a great punch line while others fall flat. And because so much is left up to chance, there are moments where the show feels wishy-washy and directionless. Like when he sings a song about breaking every bone in his body. He’s got a great voice but the song interrupts the flow and feels a little out of place.

However, a couple of his EMS tales are absolute riots. If you go see the show and the wheel lands on “smells”, you are in for a knee-slapper of a treat. It involves honey, dead cats, and a floor. And that’s all I’m going to say. 

If you want a candid glimpse of what it’s like to be a paramedic in Toronto, narrated by a chill guy who has no qualms admitting he threw up at the smell of dead bodies, then give The Emergency Monologues a shot. It’s the Forrest Gump chocolate box of Fringe shows: you never know what you’re going to get! 

July 2 - 13

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