I love musicals, all sorts, but they’re tricky to get right. If anything is off—poor pacing, a dip in energy, if you just don’t like the songs—everything falls completely apart. The illusion is shattered and you’re left with an awkward, embarrassing spectacle. There are bunch of musicals at the Toronto Fringe this year. I’m seeing a few of them and—not gonna lie—I’m nervous.
I saw my first one: Clitoria: A Sex-Positive Superhero! And let me say: IT GETS EVERYTHING RIGHT! AND IT’S AWESOME!
Marianne Parsons is a high school science teacher; she’s pretty horny and she’s got some sexy ideas that she wants to lay down (wink) for her fiancé Paul. Problem is: He’s kinda’ uptight. She doesn’t want to lose him—he’s a solid, supportive guy in all other respects—so she puts her science-y know-how to use: She concocts a potion to disable those sexy nerves in her brain. But thanks to her pussy—ahhhh yeah!—cat, Mr. Kisses, the potion ends up DEFILED and suddenly she’s a TOTALLY UNINHIBITED, SEX-OBSESSED SUPERHERO named CLITORIA! With a sexy costume and shining red locks of pornstar hair!
Sexy antics ensue! I think my favourite might be the pizza delivery scene. (bom-chica-wah-wah.)
Clitoria creates a space around her for open expression of self-love, gender identity, consent, queerness and, above all: FUN! Body loving, inclusive, throw your hang-ups out the window FUN!
Laura Bailey’s songs are clever and catchy in that retro musical comedy way. The lyrics are full of cute innuendos and some sublime, good-natured VULGARITY!
This show is so proudly inclusive and encouraging, so unabashedly body-positive, that I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time. And its humour is never aimed directly at kinks or offbeat proclivities. It never pokes fun or shames. I was very impressed with the sexually specific places some references took us without judgement and with pure campy joy.
Though the production is minimalist, the show has a glossy, polished feel. Where it lacks scenic elements, Jim Plaxton’s background projections help fill in the fairly large stage of the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. Also, the dynamic energy of the actors and the tightness of the material do a lot to make this feel solid.
Laura Bailey, Matthew Bradley, Jada Rifkin and Ursula K. Manifred deliver persuasive, high-energy, totally committed musical comedy performances. Director Christopher Wilson wisely keeps his choreography pretty basic, no shooting for the stars, so the actors pretty much nail each and every number. Their charisma carries it.
Clitoria: A Sex-Positive Superhero! is a treat. No matter how you identify, who you dig, and whatever safe and consensual fantasies your hormone-infused creative imagination concocts: Clitoria wants you to embrace it!