18 Imaginary Places to Visit Before You Die, a sketch comedy show created by We’re Not From Here, which plays at the Toronto Fringe Festival until July 11th, 2015 at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, is a bumpy ride that left me with far too many questions than answers, and very few laughs.
The best visual moment in the show happens right off the top and it is a wonderful concept, full of potential: Smee, Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tinker Bell are at the airport. Their flight has been delayed. It is revealed that Peter Pan has forgotten how to fly, but that idea is never really explored, but part of the show hinges on his remembering how. Yet, Tinker Bell has wings. There is no mention why she can’t fly either. The four comedians in the sketch troupe also wear these costumes for most of the show, some of the time they are being Smee, Peter, Hook and Tink, but most of the time they are not. Is there something meta-theatrical happening here? Is this the Neverland sketch show where Smee, Peter, Hook and Tink have created a sketch comedy troupe (That would be AWESOME)? If not, why don’t the comedians change their costumes?
The strongest performer of the group is Maya Cieszynska, who has a solid, fully formed solo sketch about Tinder adoption and also performs beautifully as a perky Breakfast Television host, and is good as a disruptive girl shouting sexual abuses at a male news anchor on location trying to chat with other men on Bay Street about the serious state of our economy. Almost all the rest of the sketches lack the tight arc and punchlines that make sketch comedy so funny, and a lot of them completely lack clarity altogether.
In short, 18 Imaginary Places to Visit Before You Die, would benefit from a trip back to the writing table.
18 Imaginary Places to Visit Before You Die plays at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse (79 St. George Street) at the following times:
July 06 at 10:45 PM buy tickets
July 07 at 04:45 PM buy tickets
July 09 at 09:30 PM buy tickets
July 10 at 05:15 PM buy tickets
July 11 at 07:00 PM buy tickets