Presented by The Makers’ Ensemble
My anxiety is easily triggered, so you can imagine my simultaneous delight and distress at the AI-voiced declaration: “hallucinogen released.” The omni-present Ellie, this story’s stand-in for Alexa, tries to offer humanity all the info dumps and creature comforts it requests; a drugged-out dance party is at the top of the list for a collection of humans at the end of the world.
Apocalyptic narratives have forever been a thing, it’s like we’ve always known our time is limited, and creator Dante Green adds their voice to the cacophony with an electro synth-pop musical outrageously titled An Incomplete List of All the Things I’m Going to Miss When the World is No Longer:
The huge cast—half principals, half ensemble—make up about twenty assorted humans of beautifully diverse of age, shape, colour and gender expression. There is a storyline we glimpse in flashbacks as various individuals come to terms with their lives on the brink of the end. I wasn’t particularly invested in all that, it’s the gestalt of this that hits.
The light, colour, sound and movement are where it’s at for me. It’s one of the few Fringe show’s I’ve seen to properly fill out the Factory Theatre Mainspace. Ryan MacDougall and Ally Chozik’s costumes in particular are an impressive blend of extravagant designs and mundane lounge-wear.
That said, the entire cast are emotive and electric and Green’s book does convey little pockets of human truth in their scenarios. It’s just that it’s mostly overshadowed by the vibe-y spectacle of it all.
There are a few notable fourth-wall breaks—blurring the lines and breaking down social barriers and all that. You should know that, at a climactic point, you’ll be offered an opportunity to come onstage. If you’re down to participate in a dance party, this aspect will be a treat; if that’s not your deal, however, you’ll just be watching a dance party for an extended period of time.
The songs are somewhat forgettable, but do effectively evoke distinct and compelling moods from moment to moment. A heartfelt lament from a character named Peter (Chris Tsujiuchi)—whose final moments on earth are particularly piteous—is the most powerful number, full of wistfully specific life-memories. And Tsujiuchi’s urgent and impassioned performance of it stole the entire show for me.
An Incomplete List of All the Things I’m Going to Miss When the World is No Longer:
@ Toronto Fringe Festival
July 6 to July 15, 2023
Factory Theatre Mainspace (125 Bathurst St)
run time: 90 minutes