SILLINESS WITH SUBSTANCE AT THE ORCHID AND THE CROW

Ben Ross

Staff Writer

The Orchid and the Crow is Toronto Fringe at its best. This clever and touching one-man show is a musical journey through creator/performer Daniel Tobias’ battle with testicular cancer, with side roads touching upon his upbringing, Santa Claus, vengeful gods and male circumcision.

Tobias is quick-witted and exceedingly charming, and has the audience eating out of his hand in no time. His singing chops and ample energy easily hold our attention as he bops cheerfully through some tough material.

The show comes in at 67 minutes for a 90-minute slot, meaning there’s room to play, and Tobias isn’t married to his script. When an audience member challenges him on a fact about dinosaurs, he simply brings up the house lights and comes back at her. (Speak out at your own peril at this show.)

And if you need yet another reason to get there, 10 per cent of all merchandise proceeds are donated to Wellspring, a cancer support network.

What we find in the end is that underneath the penis jokes, the rock music and the funny impersonations of God, The Orchid and the Crow has a large and beating heart. It’s as satisfying to watch as it seems to be to perform.

The Orchid and the Crow runs until July 11 at the Al Green Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. For more information visit www.fringetoronto.com.