Reviews - Fringe 2019

Slow Dancing with Mediocre Boys

By Doreen Nicoll
Published July 29, 2019


Despite hearing wonderful things about Slow Dancing with Mediocre Boys, Grace Smith's play and performance was just that - unexceptional.

The journey from making BFF's in elementary school through getting that elusive first boyfriend in high school and finally finding the one (for now) in university was ripe with illusive potential.

Like the main character Grace, we all like to think that we have a master life plan when really, we're just hoping life has a plan we can live with.

Smith takes us on the painful journey of friendships in elementary school to finding a boyfriend to go to the dance in middle school to graduating to high school dances where we will dance with literally anyone in order to not be the lone wallflower.

Grace's love life improves somewhat, on a school trip during the summer before university. It's then that Grace (from Nova Scotia) meets a nice boy from PEI and they have a long-distance relationship of sorts until Grace ends it just at the moment that her boyfriend is getting into his car to drive three hours in order to spend the two-week Christmas break with her.

Grace eventually finds true love with a fellow acting student which ironically is not part of her plan and which doesn't end so well. But hope is always on the horizon.

Interspersed throughout these lost loves is some online dating misadventures.

Slow Dancing could benefit from some tweaking: a tightening of the timing and more sophistication when playing to an older audience.

While getting all the Julia Stiles references - having watched all of her movies with my daughters and very much enjoying Last Dance - I needed more. I also need to point out that the Heath Ledger joke was in bad taste and not necessary.

Doreen Nicoll is a feminist and a member of several community organizations working diligently to end poverty, hunger and gendered violence.

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