Fear Factor: Canine Edition (John Grady) 2013 Toronto Fringe Review

Fear Factor Canine Edition

When I walked into the George Ignatieff Theatre to see Fear Factor: Canine Edition, I hated the world. I had a white flag halfway up the mast, ready to surrender. Bad weather, bad health, and the usual loss of three hours to move one kilometer. My vision was narrowing. This was the end!

Fortunately for me my next Fringe show was a monologue by John Grady. I can’t for the life of me remember why I booked this show. That’s irrelevant now, because I’m going to remember it for a very long time, probably forever.

Grady takes the stage and appeared to me like a cross between Michael Stipe and Senator John McCain. That helped the hate linger. Bad news, Hate: The George Ignatieff Theatre is air conditioned and offers padded seats. Also, Grady is compelling. See ya later, bad mood!

He tells us that he is a cat living in the East Village in New York City. Somehow, he ends up dating a woman from the Upper West Side who has so much money that she drops fifteen grand a month on rent. It is bizarre, like Mariah Carey dating Shane MacGowan but since it happened in NYC, it is totally believable.

At the same time, Grady is cheating on the expensive woman with someone else. Her name is Abby and she has four legs. Grady describes Abby so well that I can feel her fur. I can feel her wet nose on my thigh while she naps on my lap.

I so wanted to have my friend, my cat Isobel on my lap during this play. At times listening to Grady was like teasing Isobel’s whiskers or tickling her paws. She’d prefer I rubbed her white chin.

It’s called Fear Factor for a reason. John has to make the most difficult decision any of us can ever make. Did he do the right thing? Go see Fear Factor: Canine Edition to find out.

God bless ya, Abby!


  • Fear Factor: Canine Edition plays at the George Ignatieff Theatre (15 Devonshire, south of Bloor)
  • Show times:
  • July 05 08:45 PM
    July 06 12:00 PM
    July 07 01:15 PM
    July 09 05:15 PM
    July 10 09:15 PM
    July 11 02:15 PM
    July 13 09:45 PM
  • All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at http://www.fringetoronto.com/, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at the Fringe Club, 581 Bloor St. W, July 3rd-14th, noon – 10pm (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge)
  • Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows