Toronto Stage Steven

Variety acts, monologues, and whole lotta music dominate ‘The Daisy Theatre’ where Ronnie Burkett’s impromptu performance is a laugh sensation and a half.

LOCK, STOCK, AND HYSTERICAL BARRELL

The true north strong and free has long hypothesized what goes on in that pretty little head of Ronnie Burkett. Was the Alberta lad traumatized as a child or is he perhaps just a by-product of a creative black-hole in an oil rich province that makes no apology for its Conservative values.

While the jury remains out on that one, The Daisy Theatre is unarguably Ronnie Burkett gone wild. The highly imaginative Rated R improv experience has no actors and no script—no kidding. Just a puppeteer and his wondrous creations taking stories where they’ve not dared to go before.

The stranger than fiction segments involve marionettes that would otherwise have nothing to do with one another. And describing what happens in the cabaret constructed presentation is pointless when no two shows are ever the same. Some 40 different string buddies are allowed to steal the show whenever and however he sees fit.

Outrageously funny and neatly naughty, this is anti-reality at its finest. A perfect example of this surfaces in the opening scene when Franz and Schnitzel discuss backstage invitations following the show. Franz has not so subtle self-serving motives, a wistful fairy just wants wings.

The profound voice giver has a lot to say in this show. Breeders, media types, Hamilton, performing in a theatre that looks like it has a subway entrance, Nancy Palk, classical theatre techniques and the communist plot designed to kill us all may find its rightful comical commentary moment if the mood allows.

Keep your fingers crossed that you’re introduced to a cross-dressing Major General and Vaudeville legends Myer Lemon and Little Woody Linden. It’s scenes like these that position the show as lock, stock and hysterical barrel.

Trust us when we say there are more than just “gay guys and menopausal women” in attendance. Daisy ‘virgins’ are flocking to the Bathurst Street venue in droves to sniff out the fun. Not doing so would be truly regrettable.

Review by Jonathan O’Neil

THE DAISY THEATRE by Ronnie Burkett March 18 – April 5, 2015 FACTORY STUDIO THEATRE, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto TICKETS $33.50 – $67.00 CAST Ronnie Burkett MUSIC & LYRICS John Alcorn COSTUMES Kim Crossley PRODUCTION MANAGER Terri Gillis STAGE MANAGER Crystal Salverda

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