Praxis Theatre is currently on hiatus! Please find co-founders Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler at The Theatre Centre and SpiderWebShow, respectively.
July 3, 2009, by

Fringe Reviews: Where are they and what’s the deal with them?

The EYE website already has reviews pouring in.

The EYE website already has reviews pouring in.

Looking for reviews to decide what’s hot and what’s not at this year’s fringe?

Looking to see if anyone, anywhere, has written about a show you’re involved in?

Looking to kill hours of time refreshing your browser?

Click the links below to get to all the Fringe reviews out there:

Eye Weekly Fringe

The obvious choice, this is the one publication that guarantees they will review every fringe show. Also has a handy sorting system that lets you see what has been reviewed lately, well, or has the most comments. The comments section also has an “agree” or “disagree” function for the first time this year. This could end up being a key community tool to call bullshit on people involved with the show posing as uninvested parties with impartial feedback.

Now Magazine Fringe

The Now review site looks a lot like last year, but has a few more conveniences for the non-informed fringe-goer . Someone has taken the time to condense the plot of each show to one sentence, there is a calendar to visualize the day that each show is playing, and the venue map is right there as well. Critically, there seems to be consensus that getting 4 or 5 Ns from Now is alot harder than EYE so becoming a Critic Pick in this section is usually great for a show’s box office.

Torontoist Fringe

As a member of the online community we’re psyched about this one as Torontoist has 3, count them 3, reviewers hitting the Fringe this year. Because they’re not beholden to review everything, or the constraints of the printing press, it looks like these could end up becoming the longest and most detailed reviews of the Fringe.  Also, possibly most importantly: no star system. Read the review if you want to know if it’s good lazybones. 

Toronto Star Fringe

Getting your Fringe show reviewed by the Star seems pretty tough to do, but they always do review a few, and this year they do have a specifically dedicated page online.  They use a strange system that we’ve only seen used for Fringe or Summerworks where shows are rated, “not recommended”, “recommended”, or “highly recommended”. Anyways, it has the highest circulation of any newspaper in the country so I guess they can do whatever they want really.

Toronto Sun Fringe

Uh oh, hard times for The Sun and theatre coverage.  First they announce that although they don’t have a specific plan to review shows readers can write their own reviews which will be posted here:

As of publication this page was blank. Just completely white.  No text. Nothing. 

Globe and Mail Fringe

The stiff upper lip of the Globe editorial board likely prevents any print coverage of fringe shows here. Fortunately, Globe critic Kelly Nestrucks has a blog, Nestruck on Theatre, where he did cover some of the action last year. This makes a lot of sense as Kelly is an online Fringe review pioneer.  (Anyone remember Alison Broverman and Kelly Nestruck as the National Post’s “Theatre Eaters” in 2006?) It’s kind of unfair to list this as we have no idea what will happen in this space for sure.

Did we miss a place for Fringe reviews? Leave a note in the comments and we will update the post.

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  1. Michael says:

    This is a little late, but in the interest of transparency the globe did have one day of print coverage here. I guess the lip is slightly less stiff since they hired Torontoist to explain what was cool and going on in the city for them.

  2. Overall. Fringe is good TV series. It reminds me a little bit to Torchwood and X Files. I hope that it will not be spoiled over time.