Hope they hang a really huge Toronto Fringe Festival sign on the side of the bus as it moves through the streets of the city. Because this 60-minute travelling performance is the ultimate ambassador of good theatre, good times and the joys of summer.
I was pretty pumped just waiting to board. I mean, a theatrical bus ride is quite the treat! I know they do theatrical tours of some major cities, but this was different. Plus, mom, you know how much I love site-specific performances! (Remember T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland at the Distillery? Or Schafer at Union Station?)
From the moment the four actors joined us in line to take attendance, I knew this was not just going to be a campy sing-along with stupid jokes.
First of all, our four counselors were all so wildly unique and so perfectly cast. We had the hunk, the geek, the natural beauty, and the creator herself, Nicki Gallo, checking us for lice and discovering camp contraband (Bacardi coolers, yuck!). The counselors pranced up and down the bus, and spoke loud enough that I’m sure even the self-proclaimed bad girls at the back could hear over the engine.
Part of what followed was improv, developed together with director Rob Norman from the Second City Training Centre.
Part was enthusiastic delivery of far-out campfire stories with an urban twist. (Interestingly, I read on Twitter today of someone at a Fringe Tent Talk saying, “Ultimately, the audience is interested in the energy of the actor. If they’re into that, the style doesn’t matter.” Is that ever true of Camp Schecky!)
I wanted to write down some juicy quotes to add more colour to this description. But honestly, mom, how easy is that in a bus?
Our worries about the new camp director were put to rest when the bus stopped and Lance himself boarded. That was a hoot! Lance promised us the best summer EVER (and could he ever sing!). But then he had a falling out with the counselors, and, well. Let’s just say everyone on the bus was a bit more tightly bonded after that occurrence.
By the time the yellow school bus rounded the corner to our final destination, we were all belting out the Camp Schecky song with serious passion. I mean, every single bum in that bus wanted the entire world to hear how much we loved Camp Schecky!
So, back to the Fringe sign. That bus really needs one. I mean a freaking big one like the one on the wall of the Randolph Academy so that absolutely everyone knows why there’s so much laughter and singing coming from a yellow school bus touring the streets of Toronto.
- Camp Schecky. A play on a Bus pick up and drop-off is from Honest Ed’s Parking Lot, 581 Bloor St. W.
- Performances: July 4 07:30 PM, July 5 07:30 PM, July 6 10:00 PM, July 7 02:00 PM, July 7 03:30 PM, July 8 02:00 PM, July 8 03:30 PM, July 10 07:30 PM, July 11 02:00 PM, July 12 07:30 PM, July 13 10:00 PM, July 14 02:00 PM, July 14 03:00 PM, July 15 02:00 PM, July 15 03:00 PM
- All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only).
- Advance tickets ($11 including service charge) are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, or in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street.
- Value packs are available for anyone planning to see at least 5 shows.
Photo of Camp Schecky Underwear by Chris Frampton