Reviews - Fringe 2009

The Left Turne

By Tom Mackan
Published July 23, 2009

Written and Directed by Aaron Lam
Featuring Matt Szpirglas, Matthew David Lupal, Vivienne Mathers, Doug Massey

Now here is a fine collection of comic talent to bring this hilarious fantasy of the eternal battle between cosmic good and evil off the comic book page and on to our stage!

Lam's fantasy about a superhero inside the charming, disarming, and bespectacled Sam Turne (now just whom does he remind you of?) gets a huge lift from the charming, disarming, and bespectacled performance of Matt Szpirglas. He is an actor with glistening and polished skills.

Director Lam (indeed, the same aforementioned writer) has brought together a cast of equally practised actors to aid and abet this hour of conflict and shtick. Turne is the creator of the comic hero Radar Man, but wait - he is also Radar Man himself, a secret identity he must keep if he is to save the world.

Only his aging and injured mentor Mr. Kane knows. Doug Massey is downright brilliant in his delivery of this codger with magic powers of his own. A very funny turn (no pun) - the propeller shtick you have to see!

Turne's buddy Joe Dickson comes with trouble-making difficulties... he's the brother of Bettie whom Turne lusts to marry, and he too is a competitor in the hero stakes, but all unbeknownst to anybody else. The role is played by Matthew David Lupal, as quick and skilful an actor as one could ask to portray this mixture of antagonist and friend.

Squaring the circle of the foursome here is Vivienne Mathers, the femme fatale Bettie, with issues of the feminine lib kind, and once again, a performance of delicious variety and up front delivery. Let us not reveal the delightful outcome of all this now, but do watch for the upside-down Christmas tree. Now that will keep you guessing!

Enjoy this show. Director Lam makes what he can of the limited resources at BMO and most admirably, too.


Tom Mackan is Publisher and editor of NEWZY BITZ, an online Community Theatre newsletter in the GHA, with over 200 subscribers. He is a Member of the Board, Theatre Burlington; an actor and director in GHA Community Theatre for fifty years; winner of over 25 awards and citations in the Western Ontario region and beyond; recipient of 2007 City of Hamilton Arts Award (Theatre); a Graduate of Canadian Theatre School (Sterndale Bennett) Toronto, 1955; and a retired teacher of English and Drama in public and private schools in the GHA and abroad.


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