highlights of the Toronto Fringe Festival
FRINGE / Evelyn Reese's Walking Tour, Craplicker and more
Serafin LaRiviere / Toronto / Thursday, June 17, 2010
EVELYN REESE'S WALKING TOUR
Evelyn Reese is the sort of woman you might meet at bingo: massive tinted
glasses, polyester pantsuit and a voice that could cut through tempered
steel. She's also the creation of playwright/actor Susan Fischer, and
will make her third appearance at this year's Fringe.
Evelyn Reese's Walking Tour is part of the festival's BYOV (Bring Your
Own Venue) series, where creators mount their performances outside of
the Fringe's traditional spaces.
As Reese, Fischer plans to tour small audiences around the character's
favourite Bloor St haunts. They'll pop into stores and coffee shops
as Evelyn holds forth on topics ranging from custom-fitted brassieres
to her best friend and "poofter," Reynold.
"It's total satire," says Fischer. "That's what I love
about it. It's an opportunity to say things that are not necessarily
homophobic, but maybe a little clued out or judgmental.
"It's so much fun to be a lesbian playing a crazy straight woman
who thinks of herself as very liberal but comes out with the most politically
Like Archie Bunker or Tracey Ullman's Ruby Romaine, Fischer's lippy
alter ego skewers intolerance by speaking from the side of uninformed
- but genial - ignorance.
"I think it's important for audiences to be able to like Evelyn,"
says Fischer. "She may say things that she shouldn't, like calling
gay men 'poofters,' but the reality is that her best friend is gay and
she's completely fine with it."
Evelyn Reese's Walking Tour departs from the Fringe Club (581 Bloor
St W at Bathurst) at 6:30pm on Wed, June 30.
just get it out in the open — Evelyn Reese is funny. Damn funny...
Reese delivers a spectacular one-woman sequel to her 2006 Fringe hit
and fills a full hour with sarcasm and satire."
Sun, July 2008
is a slightly-past-prime, garrulous font of wisdom. She teeters around
the stage in her pink miniskirt, enormous sunglasses, and with an ever-present
cigarette. It’s an elastic, rubber-faced physical performance
that makes her seem a female Jim Carrey at points...Fischer delivers
one punchline after another."
CBC Manitoba, July 2008
Fischer has the audience roaring in her pitch-perfect performance as
the tipsy, lipstick-smeared gal from the office steno pool, digressing
her way through rants on smoking laws, 'poofter' pals, ungratefull kids
and absent dads."
gawdy and hilarious Evelyn Reese returns for her second Fringe installation
... this fun show has momentum as well as un-PC one-liners that will
make even the most stalwart idealists laugh."
NOW, July 5, 2007
The Toronto Star, Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The Evelyn Reese Show
Glen Morris Theatre, 4 Glen Morris. Next: Tomorrow, 5:30 p.m.
The star of The Evelyn Reese Show is no stranger to the stage –
and neither is her creator, Susan Fischer.
As the marvellous, not so stylish Reese, Fischer has toured the country,
appearing at comedy clubs, cabarets and karaoke places. In this solo
show, her character speaks her mind about tackling trying marriages,
dealing with divorce, befriending giggly gays and discoing at Studio
54 (no, not the famous New York hotspot – a Kitchener location
under a golf and country club). Her idea of a baby shower gift is a
gift certificate from the LCBO because the mother “needed booze
more than bibs and blankets.”
The Evelyn Reese Show compels you to picture Married…With Children’s
Peggy Bundy after packing on a belly and putting down too many fruity
drinks over the years. Reese is a curvaceous, vivacious and boisterous
“I am not actually a professional entertainer,” Fischer
confesses, but the self-proclaimed amateur actress is in big demand
as emcee for retirement parties, picnics and office functions. And the
reason why is obvious – with nothing but black chairs and matching
table and a smiley-faced mug on the stage, her Reese is a triumph of
crazy charm and savvy sassiness.
The CBC (Manitoba) Winnepeg Fringe Review, July12, 2006
Reviewed at the 2006 Toronto Fringe (July
Five Sheriff Stars
knows an Evelyn Reese. She wears a bit too much lipstick, her
shorts are too tight, and her mink is a tad on the musty side.
She’s NOT aging gracefully. But as far as she’s concerned,
the world revolves around her – and she loves it. In this
one-woman tour-de-force, Evelyn brings us into her world. She’s
hilarious, offensive, and prides herself on her ability to “out”
gay men (“After twenty minutes alone with me, any guy who doesn’t
try to jump my bones is either gay or a paraplegic.”) If
Marg Delahunty wrote a fringe show, this would be it. Totally
CBC Reviewer: Bertram Schneider
magazine Online Edition, July 2006
Reviewed by: Kate Pedersen
Evelyn Reese (Susan Fischer) is what results when Liza
Minelli, Joan Collins, and Mary Tyler Moore have a
baby and wean it on rye and ginger. She's the gal
who's made it after all, and she tells you about her
journey through her ex-husbands, "poofter" friends and
trips to Vegas. Fischer delights with every awful
(A NOW pick)
the Times Colonist, Victoria, B.C., June 2, 2006
“* * * *...Evelyn sashays about the stage like
a trailer-park Judy
Garland. She keeps up a constant banter, one side of her mouth dragging
though she has suffered a wee stroke. She’s a bit of a train wreck,
admire Ms. Reese’s tanacity and gritty joie de vivre...
It’s tremendously funny, yet what makes Fischer’s 60-minute
piece more than
just laughs is her obvious affection for Evelyn. Also compelling is
careful detail with which she paints the character; the fact her portrait
based on realism ensures that mere caricature is avoided.”