Mooney on Theatre
The cast had a sassiness that I immediately loved. Each member totally played into the whole “fame hungry New Yorker” game. I sincerely believed that these people were plucked off the streets of 1960’s New York.
Although everyone had something special to offer the show, Chase Winnicky who plays “Candy Darling” really grabbed my attention with his blissful ballad on his struggles with gender. His falsetto was delightful. Clear and crisp.
Devin Chin-Cheong and Sara Hinding also impressed with their dance solos. Their movement was athletic and powerful as they danced through their characters’ darkest hours.
Speaking of dancing…the choreography was awesome and probably (in my opinion) the strongest element in the show. It was original, dynamic and of a professional caliber. There were big moments, like a leap across the stage and then there were small moments, like a soft, Fosse-esque hand gesture during an intimate monologue. The choreography was slinky, sexy and just so…cool.
The music was commendable. I found every song to be original and unique. The orchestration was also very interesting. I would describe the sound of the music as synth-pop meets Broadway. Unlike anything I’ve heard before.
Some songs really nailed it lyrically, especially the more abstract, pop-style songs that were usually sung by a character off to the side while another character danced. Other songs, though musically interesting, involved some lyrics that made me wrinkle my nose a bit and it was usually the more “musical theatre” style songs that did that. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t still tapping my foot!
So I enjoyed some individual elements of Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal however, there was just one thing missing…a plot line to follow.
Unlike other ensemble musicals like A Chorus Line and even Canada’s own Come From Away, there was no “big event” to look forward to as an audience member. There was nothing that tied all these people together and the show ended the same way it began. Nothing really changed that much which ended up being the slightly disappointing part of this otherwise entertaining musical.
So although Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal didn’t give me the high-stakes story I look for in a musical, it still featured some stunning dance and vocal performances. Check it out at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival!
Gay Theatre Toronto
Fringe Review: Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal
– Philip Cairns
Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal is a fast paced, sassy, smart new play with a powerhouse cast of uber-talented singer-dancers. We learn all about the artsy crowd in New York City in the 1960s with artist Andy Warhol and his Silver Factory as the centrepiece. There is an amazing cast of characters swirling around Warhol: drag queens, underground film actors, wannabes, hangers-on, rich kids slumming and lots of sexy gay men.
The dancing and singing are incredible. I hate to single out any of the cast because they were all so good but Jewelle Blackman blew the roof off with her voice and Devin Chin-Cheong danced like a beautiful angel. There is a lot of expository storytelling but the piece is always interesting and lively. Vinetta Strombergs has written an excellent script and Robert Swerdlow’s music is gorgeous. The sensual, athletic choreography by Gino Berti is aided by striking, vivid projections by Jim Plaxton. I had a great time watching as everyone gave their all in this production. Go see it and enjoy!
Fringe shout out of the day to the cast and creative team of Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal.
First of all, this is without a doubt … the SEXIEST show I have seen at the Fringe. Two dance numbers stop the show; one with a male dancer (Devin Chin-Cheong) who strips down to very little and performs a GORGEOUS solo and another spectacular dance which tells a tragic story where one woman (Sara Hinding) is moved through space by three men.
Gino Berti’s choreography is movement, style, feel and everything wonderful about musical theatre.
Secondly, this cast is STACKED with amazing voices and talent. Sure there are the amazing folks the Toronto scene already knows about (doing fantastic work).
Folks like Christopher Wilson, Duff MacDonald, and Jewelle Blackman, each who bring voice to amazing musical numbers. Or maybe you’ve heard of Stacey Kay (from season 10 of America’s Got Talent … check out the clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uqkELtkvGs). And then there’s Autumn-Joy Dames, Breanne Dietrich, Kurtis Leon Baker, Julia Carrer, Sarah Gibbons. And the end of the show features a moving solo by Chase Winnicky.
Third … the Fringe is about experimenting, and this is a grand experiment. Non-linear vignettes, songs and dances. It is a piece about atmosphere and feel. This isn’t a finished show, this is a series of ideas finding voice in front of an audience. When it works .. it is MAGIC. Have a few drinks or imbibe in what you will and go along for the ride … or simply be intoxicated with the talent on the stage.
So Vinetta Strombergs has had this idea of recreating The Silver Factory where Andy Warhol found his 15 minutes of fame, doing it with a large cast and using the music written by Robert Swerdlow interspersed with verbatim monlogues of people who knew Warhol, as well as dance and song.
Trust me, one of these musical numbers and one of these dances has already rewarded what you paid for your ticket.
There’s a little show in New York called SLEEP NO MORE This show … these vignettes and numbers in a warehouse made up to be The Silver Factory … it could become the next SLEEP NO MORE.
Be the first to see where it all started. Four more performances. Tix at https://fringetoronto.com/festivals/fringe/event/andy-warhol-musical-rehearsal
My Entertainment World
Toronto Fringe ’18: Part XIV – Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal (A)
– Lorenzo Pagnotta
Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal (A)
The fabulous cast of triple threats warm-up and stretch as the audience trickles in. The director (Vinetta Strombergs) notes inform us that this production is an exploration of several possible versions currently in development. Nevertheless, it’s mind-blowingly enthralling and powerfully delivered from start to finish! Throughout the piece, we learn about Warhol’s biggest supporters and prodigies who helped define his Silver Factory. The cast members effortlessly rope us into his world, gaining our full appreciation of his passion for the non-conventional, and distaste of anything resembling status quo. We learn he had a habit for adding the prefix “star” to many words while discussing project visions. While the whole cast is truly exceptional, dance wise (choreography by Gino Berti) Devin Chin-Cheong steals the show, fluidly playing sexy boy toy Gerard (Warhol’s left-hand man and a type of gatekeeper to the enterprise), as well as, Freddie who artfully leaps to his death like a black swan. Vocally (music by Robert Swerdlow and Peter Nunn), Stacey Kay delivers a soulful show-stopping performance, as the once elite Republican family daughter turned punk rebel. I have learnt that Kay is, indeed, a professional recording artist so I will be looking out for her upcoming singles. This new musical does what the documentary Strike a Pose did for Madonna’s dancers in another era: it captures the essence of a decade which is so fascinating to us, by digging deep into the mindset of the cultural shapeshifters whose life and art collided to change the world forever. We are taken on an incredible journey witnessing their (often drug-induced) ups and downs. No easy task right? Well, in fact, it’s hard to believe how many stories and characters are packed into this 60 minute musical. But they’re all important and every last number is captivating. Once some of the kinks in the choreography and music are ironed out, it’s definitely headed to the big stage somewhere!