TO Fringe Review: P-Dale

Toronto – In P-Dale, a group of four screwups try to stick up a convenience store. They screw it up. It’s not really that good.

What? There has to be more? Ok then…

Our four heroes, Snoop (Brendon Smith), who has big gambling debts, Walker (Scott Walker), an alcoholic who’s homeless, Svelte (Caleb Verzyden), who works in porn, and Twizzle (playwright Luis Fernandes), a goofy white rapper and drug dealer, are all from Parkdale, hence the name. Except for Twizzle, who “reprahsents da P-Dale” but is actually from Richmond Hill.

As ridiculous as Twizzle is, he’s easily the most interesting character. Fernandes manages to inject him with a fair amount of depth in the first half of the show, even while he’s yelling at other characters not to censor him, wearing a strap-on on his face, busting out ridiculous rhymes and breaking the fourth wall. But the nominal protagonist, Snoop, is the least interesting character. He puts everyone off who asks why he’s planning this convenience store robbery until his end-of-show reveal, which isn’t that dramatic. Svelte has little going for him that’s interesting aside from his porn job, and it’s really not clear why he’s involved in this at all. Walker is meant to be a tragic figure, but the script only pays lip service as to why. The show relies on solliloquies from the characters to fill in their back story, and never really gets into how they know each other.

The robbery goes staggeringly wrong, of course, and there’s a handful of ok gags along the way, but it’s rarely laugh-out-loud funny and none of the characters are all that sympathetic.

P-Dale plays at Venue 10. Check your Fringe program or the online play listings for showtimes.

Posted on by Brian in Fringe, Reviews, Theatre