The Fringe Festival is coming into its last day and as I head out to my final show for the season (a late show to boot) I’m hoping it’s a performance I’m going to enjoy. What I mean is, I’m tired and I really need to have fun so I can keep going! Bil Antoniou’s Operation Impervious was just that.
Operation Impervious is about two roommates, Randall (Bil Antoniou) and Martin (Michael Soulard) who set themselves to the task of proving that the most famous actor in the word, Tom Cr-shhh!, is gay. As the two embark on their mission by first infiltrating a celebrity-run cult, Randall’s ex-boyfriend Amos (Joel MacMeekin), having been presumed lost on a deserted island, returns.
The show is zany, bizarre, funny, over-the-top and campy, very campy. Sometimes a little too much on the camp, but you get into the hang of it soon enough. The performance is high and energetic (refreshing at 10:30 pm) which at times lead to rapidly delivered dialogue that comes out a bit too quick.
When the show began and I started to get into it, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, especially when Amos enters the scene followed by this tall, gun-toting, black Amazon of a woman with a big afro, heels and a gold lame dress (very Foxy Brown/Cleopatra). She is later revealed as Cassie Starbuckle (Ree Andrews) who is an enforcer type of character for the celebrity cult – an interesting addition that I would’ve liked to have learned more about. She also serves as marquee girl dancing across the stage while the crew changes set pieces between scenes. Gives you something to look at.
The show takes a very humorous jab at pop culture, the foundation for most of their jokes, and leads us to a rather amusing revelation to the mystery of Hollywood religion and star power. It also felt quite familiar to me because I grew up with friends in high school that remind me of Randall and Martin, who kept me always in the know of celebrity gossip…whether I liked it or not. (And I blame them and easy television access for my continued fascination, curse you TMZ!)
I enjoyed Operation Impervious; it’s a helluva lot of fun. It could use a little bit of tweaking in dialogue, delivery and staging but it’s still well worth the watch. As this is the closing night for this production, I do hope they get another run soon.
Operation Impervious is written by Bil Antoniou, directed by Victoria Shepherd, and stars Ree Andrews, Bil Antoniou, JP Baldwin, Sarah Cunningham, Joel MacMeekin, Alan Shonfield and Michael Soulard.
– Operation Impervious is playing at the Robert Gill Theatre (214 College St).
July 7 – 8:15 pm
July 8 – 5:15 pm
July 10 – 12 pm
July 11 – 10:30 pm
July 12 – 6:15 pm
July 15 – 2:15 pm
July 16 – 10:30 pm
– Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only. Late comers will not be permitted.
– Tickets are also available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, or in person at The Fringe Test, 581 Bloor St. W (Advance tickets are $11 – $10 + $1 convenience fee)
– Money saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.