TO Fringe Review: Boyfriends

Toronto – I suppose if I hadn’t read the play description for Boyfriends on the Fringe website before gonig to the show, I probably wouldn’t have got that the three male leads in the show are supposed to be Peter Falk, John Cassavetes and Ben Gazzara in the 1960’s.

I mean, I probably would’ve gotten the 1960’s part. And I might’ve gotten that the one actor was doing a young Peter Falk (I don’t know the actor’s name, as there was no program that I could see and the company ahs no website). Of course, I couldn’t pick the real John Cassavetes or Ben Gazarra out of a lineup, but I digress.

Anyway, Boyfriends would probablybe enjoyable even if you didn’t know who the three male characters were supposed to be, thanks to how good the three actors are, their dialogue, and their chemistry and charm. In the story, the three have a contest to see if any of them, in turn, can get a call girl they invite over to fall in love with them.

It’s not a very nice game to play, of course, and it’s destined to end badly, but there’s more than a few laughs along the way, especially from Cassavetes’ motormouth, and a few tender moments, particularly with Falk’s vulnerability. A cynical Gazzara just comes across as mean-spirited, however, and as the plot grinds to it’s inevitable conclusion, with the escort getting upset at being the subject of this game and storming out, the play kind of limps to its conclusion and never does find a strong note to end on.

Still, the three male leads are quite good, the dialogue is snappy, and it’s probably even better if you know who these people are in real life.

Boyfriends plays at Venue 13. Check your Fringe program or the online play listings for showtimes.

Posted on by Brian in Fringe, Reviews, Theatre

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