Review: (Toronto) Strapless (Fringe)
More Than Just the Jiggle
by Dena Jackson
I was delighted when I found out that I was going to see Strapless during the Toronto Fringe Festival this year. As an ex-West coaster, I was more than excited to see these Vancouver-based comediennes perform. I sat down to a nearly sold-out show to watch Jackie Blackmore, Amy Auchstaetter, Lauren Martin, and Megan Phillips dance their way onto the stage in strapless tops that were often falling down and exposing their boobies. Yes, I saw naked comedy within the first 5 minutes of watching this show and it was delivered via highland dancing and a lot of jiggle!
This all-female cast provided their audience with a series of comedic sketches and scenes that discussed relationships, male and female interaction, hierarchies, religion, gluttony, defeat and Western history all in very clever and interactive ways. I often felt like I was right on stage with these women as they invited me into their thoughts and jokes. As an audience member, I felt like I was laughing with them.
The entire cast delivered a fantastic performance, but a particular mention must be made for Jackie Blackmore who gained likability from the moment she came onstage. Her stage presence and ability to transform from a male boyfriend one minute, to a half-naked prostitute or elderly woman the next was astounding. Note to all comedy lovers: Jackie is someone to watch, both for her poise and comedic timing.
As a fan of the absurd, one of the final scenes in the show took the cake for me. It involved sexualizing a McDonald’s fast food joint. In this scene, an employee seduced a deranged woman into ordering a Big Mac while a pimp and an odd woman with glazed eyes stared at you in the background. It was fabulous.
I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this show. Strapless is a show not to be missed as it keeps you giggling while you are there and wanting more after you leave. I hope to see more of Strapless at future Fringe shows across Canada and beyond.
July 2 - 13
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