Fringe 2016: Nicole's Top 5

30 June 2016 / by Nicole Di Donato (author)
Bright Lights (photo: via Fringe )
Bright Lights / (photo: via Fringe )

It’s that time of the year again: it’s time to fringe! That’s right, the Toronto Fringe Festival is back and better than ever. Taking place from June 29 to July 10, the festival is presenting over 150 shows in over 30 venues across Toronto. In addition to theatre, this well-known festival offers something for everyone including dance, visual art, buskers, site-specific performances, and more. With a maximum ticket price of $12, the Toronto Fringe Festival is the perfect place for avid theatregoers as well as theatre virgins! Before you get your fringe on, check out my top-five list of shows you must watch at this year’s festival.


1. WEIRD: The Witches of Macbeth

Presented by Theatre Arcturus, WEIRD blends original text and storytelling with aerial arts, stage combat, and original music, making it a compelling show that is not to be missed. Taking place in war-torn Scotland, this show follows the three Weird Sisters who are caught between the bloody business of Macbeth’s tragedy and their own sibling rivalry.

Through unique forms of storytelling, WEIRD allows the audience to immerse themselves in a circus-like performance in which the Witches climb, twist, and move through the air.

WEIRD was originally performed in the 2015 Ottawa Fringe Festival where it won Best of Fest, was shortlisted for Critics’ Pick, and was Metro’s #1 Must-See Show of the festival. Additionally, the show has toured to various theatres and schools across Ontario.

The director and flight choreographer of the show is Philip Psutka. Playing the Weird Sisters are Lindsay Bellaire, Emily Hughes, and Sheelagh Daly.

Don’t miss your chance to see this innovative and enticing show at the Randolph Theatre, located at 736 Bathurst Street. For more information and to purchase tickets go to


2. Bright Lights

Bright Lights is about an alien abduction support group whose personal beliefs and loyalties to each other are tested when a new member suggests that someone in their midst is not as human as they appear.

Chaos arises as members of the support group try to prove the validity of their alien experiences without regard for the consequences. Bright Lights takes a critical look at who we are, what we believe, and how far we’ll go to not feel alone.

Toronto playwright Kat Sandler and Theatre Brouhaha team up with the creative minds behind Canadian Comedy Award winning duo Peter N’ Chris, clown duo Morro & Jasp, Shakey-Shake and Friends, and Bad Dog Theatre’s Colin Munch to create a memorable dark comedy about survival, trust and the need to be believed.

The cast members include Amy Lee, Heather Marie Annis, Chris Wilson, Peter Carlone, and Colin Munch.

Be sure to check out Bright Lights at Tarragon Theatre Mainspace, located at 30 Bridgman Avenue. To find out more about their show dates and to purchase tickets, go to


3. Dance Animal Toronto

Dance Animal, the world’s only comedy-dance-tribe returns with a new Toronto show and cast. The show is about a group of Toronto misfits who are recruited by the mysterious Dance Tiger to join Dance Animal’s Toronto Tribe.

As each Animal shares their story with the audience, we discover how their lives have changed for the better now that they have met their ultimate Tribe and have realized that their true calling is to express themselves through dance.

The original founder, director and choreographer of this comedic show is Robin Henderson.

In the cast are Robin Henderson (Dance Tiger), Guy Bradford (Dance Crab), Kat Lewin (Dance Racoon), Michael MacEachern (Dance Shetland Pony), Allison Price (Dance Gull), Kevin Vidal (Dance Octopus), Leighton Williams (Dance Peacock), and Carol Zoccoli (Dance Capybara). Understudies include Vanessa Salazar (Dance Alligator) and Simon McCamus (Dance Jack-Rabbit).

Come out and see Dance Animal at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace! Go to for additional information about this must-see dance comedy.


 4. Songbuster – An Improvised Musical

Songbuster – An Improvised Musical features ten musical theatre performers who set out to create their own legendary musical using suggestions from the audience. Each show is a never-seen-before-and-never-seen-again musical, making it an exciting and original show each and every time!

This musical comedy was created by Stephanie Malek and Josh Murray in the summer of 2015, and is directed by Carly Heffernan.

In the cast are Tricia Black, Kristian Bruun, Matty Burns, Ashley Comeau, Alexandra Hurley, Stephanie Malek, Josh Murray, Nug Nahrgang, Connor Thompson, and musical director Tom King.

Songbuster – An Improvised Musical uses audience participation to create a musical that is both exciting and full of surprises.

The show will be performed at the Randolph Theatre in Toronto. To find out more about the cast and their show dates, check out their Facebook page


5. That’s How I Remember It

The hit podcast THAT’S HOW I REMEMBER IT is now a Fringe show! In the show, seasoned improvisers and comedians re-imagine and most likely ruin your favourite film. They will turn the movie you suggest into a made-up comedy radio-play on the spot.

Every show is a different movie and every show they are joined by a different comedy legend as their guest.

Directed by Paul Bates, this sketch comedy is one you won’t want to miss!

Starring in the show are the co-creators of the podcast: Raul Delgado, Michael Mongiardi, Sharjil Rasool, and John Richardson.

The four men, better known as The Nice Guys, have been performing together since 2013 after meeting at The Second City Training Centre. They have had some of the most acclaimed comedians in Canada as podcast guests, including alumni of The Second City Mainstage and Saturday Night Live.

Be sure to check out THAT’S HOW I REMEMBER IT at the Al Green Theatre, located at 750 Spadina Avenue. Visit their website to listen to their podcast and go to to purchase tickets.  


The author

Nicole Di Donato

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