Shalom Life | April 20, 2014

Toronto Fringe Festival: "Act Now!"

A musical about infomercials, product pitching, and murder.

By: Bev Spritzer

Published: July 5th, 2010 in Culture » Stage » Reviews

Toronto Fringe Festival: "Act Now!"

Between Snuggie and ShamWow ad spots, you always knew there was something kinda off about the people in infomercials the Fringe production of Act Now!, a definite must-see, confirms this suspicion.

Through brilliantly worded musical comedy, the dark truth about the world of infomercials and product pitching is revealed.

We are introduced to an out-of-work actor named Larry (Justin Goodhand), who misreads a job posting and ends up working for an over-zealous knife salesman named Tony (Kevin Dennis).

What is product pitching, after all, if not acting?

Enter Layla (Jess Abramovitch), a lovable hoarder whose obsessive spending habits render her what those in the pitch business call an “Easy Sell.”

We soon learn that Tony’s intentions are perhaps not benevolent, and in fact more selfish – he wants to create the Perfect Pitch and consequently take over the world, one obsessive compulsive buyer at a time.

Flanked by a couple of seasoned pitchers named Ed (Greg Campbell) and Dolly (Jackie English), Tony’s true intentions are brought to light, and the grizzly reality behind the infomercial industry is exposed.

Romance soon blooms between Larry and Layla over an awkward knife demonstration, and eventually the two see that perhaps there is more to life than just the Perfect Pitch.

Peppered with video guest appearances by Russell “The Cash Man” Oliver (he wants to buy your jewelry!), Act Now! is a fun, fresh, cleverly acted production that will have you at “but wait, there’s more!”

Directed by: Adam Brazier

Music by: Daniel Abrahamson

Based on the book by: Rachel Brittain

Lyrics: Daniel Cummings

Stage Manager: Carolyn Mykytyshyn

The Toronto Fringe Festival runs until July 11. For more information, visit www.fringetoronto.com.

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