Monday, 6 July 2015

Toronto Fringe review: The Orchid and the Crow

By Christopher Douglas

Opening the show with a rock 'n roll song about his parents falling in love entitled "Suburban Love", Daniel Tobias of Die Roten Punkte fame starts The Orchid and the Crow with a flashy laugh and establishes from the first moment what skillful hands we are in.
This guy commands the stage - even with an empty mosh pit between the deck and the front row of his audience.  Effortlessly, he lures the audience into his story of his growing up Jewish (the ethnicity, not the religion) and the rituals and beliefs surrounding Judaism including Passover, bacon and circumcision.  Alternating between punchlines and humorous musical interludes, Tobias creates a show that begins as a stand-up set and gets into something far more dramatic and complicated when he arrives at a doctor's visit to deal with a pain in his stomach and Lance Armstrong.  Following that, he launches into a mini-burlesque show and a strange yet compelling recitative in Spanish, accompanied by an animated projection and surtitles.  
While the performance slows down partway through to explore depth not usually seen in a comedy (and music) show, the humour generally buoys up this talk about the big C-word.  Tobias is never at a loss for what comes next and rallies to bring us to up to the present with a slightly sexist song called "Girls Don't Care About Balls" and what dressing up for Passover entails now.  While the closing moment of the show is a little slow, the melody justifies it as Tobias asks "Who Doesn't Want to Be Blessed?"  I give this show my blessing - now go get your ticket and laugh your balls off.
Info and tickets for all Toronto Fringe shows can be found at

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