The Negroes are Congregating

By Natasha Adiyana

It’s rare to be thoroughly captivated and entertained while also confronted with uncomfortable questions, but The Negroes are Congregating excels at the task. Three dexterous performers weave a series of spoken word pieces into an insightful look at contemporary anti-black racism in “the great white North.”

The poems cover street harassment, viral videos, the politics of food, microaggressions, Serena Williams, the limitations of diversity programs, Black Panther and more. But as extensive as the show manages to be, it also goes deep. A piece on a police shooting (“they said he was resisting arrest/these days that’s just code for asking questions”) asks what it’s like to be the black cop responding for backup and the bystander deciding whether to film. A piece on “the looks you get as a successful black businessman” is juxtaposed with an updated little red hen fable, which ends with a satisfying “fuck y’all” when the other barnyard animals want to profit from the hen’s hard work without having helped her. A fake powerpoint helps you figure out “whether you like your one black friend the way you say you do.” And while there’s a lot for those of us in the audience who aren’t black to appreciate and reflect on, Adiyana in clear in one of the early pieces (a send-up of the Netflix hit Dear White People) that she wrote this for black Canadians to see and challenge themselves. - Nicole Maunsell

Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street
Sunday September 2nd 12:30pm
Wednesday September 5th 6:30pm
Friday September 7th 9pm
Saturday September 8th 4pm
Sunday September 9th 2:30pm

Herbie Dragons
By Dan Bray & Kevin Hartford

As a long-time fan of a certain high-grossing boy wizard book series, I had high expectations for this one—featuring Fringe favorites Dan Bray, Colleen MacIsaac, Kayla Gunn, Kevin Hartford and Melissa MacGougan. Consider my expectations surpassed: it’s a crowd-pleasing ride with “magic” mushrooms, a drama-thirsty ghost, clever sight gags and satisfying word-play. MacGougan is exuberant as keener Herbie, while Gunn brings the guffaws as her stoner sister Darby. They’re trying to impress the Covenmyth admissions team so that Herbie can live up to the Dragons family name, but “boxes gotta be opened, dude” and hijinks ensue. See it with your best nerd friends so that you have someone to elbow gleefully when you understand a reference. - NM

Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street
Monday September 3rd 1pm
Wednesday September 5th 11pm
Thursday September 6th 8pm
Friday September 7th 7:30pm
Saturday September 8th 1pm & 8pm
Sunday September 9th 5:30pm & 8:30pm

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