Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: (Toronto) Rulers of the Universe - A Love Story (Fringe)

Sketch - Always a Mixed Bag
by joel fishbane

A strong ensemble fights against a mixed bag of sketches in Rulers of the Universe: A Love Story. The various sketches, which run from Duelling Scalpers to a store where a Gold Card membership gains you some very special perks, all begin with a clever premise but only occasionally manage to spin it into true comedic gold. This is despite the talents of the troupe, a motley assortment of comedians, actors and improvisers.

The preference for improvisation (or a style of delivery that feels like improvisation) is relied on a little too much by the performers, as it tends to kill the rhythm of the sketch and detract from the effectiveness of a punchline. The pacing of the show also lagged thanks to various blackouts and scene changes. Inventing smoother transitions would keep up the energy of the show and pull the audience further into the fun.

The troupe is full of potential, perhaps best revealed in the show’s finale when they recreate the filmmaker’s attempts to write the last scene of Casablanca. Standouts in the company include the expressive Kat Letwin and the ultra-low-key Jeremy Woodcock, who mutters some of the funniest one-liners in the show. 

July 2 - 13

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