Caution: This locally produced musical contains kidnapping and torture. A character gets kidnapped. The audience is tortured.
A young woman has her bike stolen. Her unstable boyfriend vows to kidnap the loved ones of the person responsible. And it goes on. Apart from having his onstage musical ensemble drowning out the vocalists, playwright Ian Cherry’s more wince-inducing mode of affliction is his notion of lyrics: Repeat a single line ("Happy birthday! It’s a party!") so many freakin’ times, water-boarding would seem like a day at the wave pool.
As is often the case with bad productions such as this, someone decides, "Let’s max out the running time." Cherry inserts another play — nonsense about a woman reuniting with an ex-boyfriend who is now a mystic-minded acid burnout — in an apparent bid to test the love of friends and family in attendance.
Since a character from one play dismisses the other play as crap, we can take comfort that the production has some self-awareness. The program promises 105 minutes but the actual running time is closer to 90, proving that even in hell, there is mercy.
— Randall King
From the official Fringe Festival guide:
Love, arson, cupcakes and kidnapping (but mostly love). We follow Stacy, a hopeless romantic (and dangerous sociopath), as he tries to impress his girlfriend by kidnapping someone she’s never met. Throw in a fugitive terrorist and her kleptomaniac ex-lover and you’ve got an un-birthday party to remember.
Musical theatre with an edge (not to mention lots of rope and explosives).
Warnings: Language, Some Violence
RECOMMENDED: Mature Audience
Canwest Performing Arts Centre (Venue 9), to July 25
Discount Tickets: $6 for Matinees, Students, Seniors, Fringe Performers
Under 16 not admitted.