Wednesday, June 21, 2017

REVIEW: MORRO and JASP are out of this world in the smart and hilarious STUPEFACTION

Two clowns, Morro and Jasp, dressed in their finest (by Robin Fisher) enter a theatre as the lights go down.  It’s a rainy night, they’re struggling with their umbrellas, and they’re late for the start of a play. Morro wants to take Jasp to do something special, to cheer her up after she’s weathered a bad break-up.

A rather officious usher (the very funny Elliot Loran) chivvies them into – one seat. The show they’ve come to see is delayed by technical difficulties.  A theatre tech appears (an excellent Sefton Jackson)from back stage and tries source the problem in a pit below the stage. Then things start to get a little weird.

Fed Ex (Anand Ramjaram as a charming sad sack) arrives with a mysterious package.  Is this a sign?

How do we explain the inexplicable to ourselves and to others?  Are there mysterious forces above and beyond us? Is someone – anyone - in charge, ever? What do we believe in?  How do those beliefs bring us together and how do they drive us apart?

These are big questions, and Stupefaction tackles them boldly, with a sense of wonder, ineffable charm, audience participation, and Cheezies. Annis, Lee and company make a night of theatrical magic.

This is the most ambitious Morro and Jasp show to date with a five-member cast and complex tech. In contrast to the big production values, the script has a kind of loosey-goosy vibe: this disparity creates a perfect container for the cosmic subject matter.

Make no mistake:  there’s plenty of skill underpinning the gleeful chaos that unfolds before us.

The sound design by Lyon Smith, Deanna Choi, lighting by David DeGrow and projections by Montgomery Martin adds a compelling otherworldly aura to the proceedings. The technicians on this show more than deserved their applause.

The entire cast delivers great ensemble work marrying physical comedy and hilarious, well-timed delivery. Byron Laviolette’s smart direction makes creative use of the entire space. He and his cast do a great job of escalating and slackening the pace in all the right moments. 

Stupefaction takes the audience on a wild and magical ride ending in a joyous conclusion.  Any room with Morro and Jasp in it is always a happy place. They’ve extended their run. I suggest you rush to  get a ticket.

Morro and Jasp

Kabin and U.N.I.T. Productions present

Morro and Jasp in STUPEFACTION
Crowsnest Streetcar
345 Carlaw, Toronto 
For tickets and information go to:

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