Woke ‘n Broke the Toronto Fringe Festival is a variety show play which has that improv feel with a series of frantic short sketches. The sketches range from a reimagining of The Last Supper, to meeting an old friend who has started dating Dracula. Like any variety show kind of show the sketches are hit and miss. Unfortunately, for me, they were a lot more in the miss category.
Part of that is the general inconsistency of the performances. Each sketch had their focus actor who did a good job but a lot of the surrounding actors weren’t as on as they could have been. Certainly this being a preview show has something to do with it, but I felt it needed to have a lot more consistent effort to make this a show I would gladly recommend.
There some great pieces to the show. Nkasi Ogbonnah’s physical style of comedy was wonderfully on display during the last supper sketch and the engaged to Dracula sketches. She was my favourite performer of the group. Zohiab Khan was perfect in the security gate sketch, where he put all his dangerous opinions on display for a security guard, as well as a funny touching moment with as a dad who can’t say I love you.
The best sketch was one where all four of them are trying to explain to their one friend that he incapable of casual sex. It was the sketch that made me cackle out loud, more than once. It showed that when they are all on they can be hilarious. I didn’t feel that they were on enough to make this more than an okay show.
This review is based on the July 3 preview performance of the production.
- Woke ‘n Broke plays at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. (79 St. George St.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (275 Bathurst St.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Content Warnings: mature language; gunshots; sexual content; fog or haze effects; audience participation; not recommended for children.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- The Toronto Fringe Festival is scent-free: please do not wear perfumes, colognes, or other strongly-scented products.
- Wednesday July 3rd, 6:15 pm
- Friday July 5th, 2:30 pm
- Saturday July 6th, 8:45 pm
- Sunday July 7th, 10:00 pm
- Tuesday July 9th, 9:45 pm
- Thursday July 11th, 6:45 pm
- Saturday July 13th, 1:00 pm
Photo of Rob Michaels, Neha Kohli, Carolyne Das, Zohaib Khan and Sima Sepehri and Nkasi Ogbonnah by a self-timer.