Who: Red Brick Theatre
What: End With A Kiss
Length: 75 minutes
Where: Staircase Theatre Studio Theatre (27 Dundurn Street North)
When: July 21-31 as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival
Tickets: $12 + $1.75 fee at https://boxoffice.hftco.ca/event/866:613/
Even if you’re someone who doesn’t traditionally like Hallmark movies you can’t deny there is something cozy and enthralling about them. And that is exactly what Red Brick Theatre’s End With a Kiss brings to the 2022 Hamilton Fringe Festival; but what’s special about is that it’s completely improvised – there’s a new story every time.
End With a Kiss begins with some audience participation – audience members get to choose the season or holiday, location, and job of the main lead. At the July 22nd show, audience Fringe-goers followed Alice, an architect who moved from Seattle to Tinseltown.
The whole cast captured everything we love, and everything we love to hate about Hallmark movies – the cheesiness, the predictability, and the romance. But the improv element resulted in some incredible comedic moments – including moments like characters telling other characters to ‘cut to the chase’ due to the time limit, and the impact of dealing with limited props to work with on stage.
The two main characters Gary (Aaron Boyd) and Alice (Jo Anne Tacorda) played off each other so well, and the musical director (Jacob Ollivier) did a wonderful job capturing the feelings of each scene. Supporting Boyd and Tacorda in their love story were cast members Kristi Boulton, Alan Belerique, Hannah Gallant and Phil Johnson.
While the last ten minutes of this show in particular did feel a bit rushed due to timing, the overall production was hilarious, and well done. Make sure to keep your eye out for future productions these cast members are in, because if it’s anything like End With a Kiss they shouldn’t be missed.
Editor’s Note: In keeping in line with our values, it is noted that the producer of End with a Kiss also manages elements of the Beyond James website. In order to ensure this review was written in an impartial fashion, the writer of this article had no knowledge of this conflict until after the review was submitted for publication.