Toronto Fringe: People Suck


So last night I settled in for a musical presentation at the Randolph Theatre, and was charmed by the Nutmeg Creations presentation of People Suck. Written by Peter Cavell and Megan Phillips, who also is one of the show’s stars, the performance was a series of numbers, that illustrated the very worst in people. And we all know exactly the type of people they are talking about…

Phillips, alongside Ashley Comeau, Allison Price, Connor Thompson and Arthur Wright take us through a bevy of tunes, running the gambit from ignorant, self-involved drivers, to religion, to grammar, to flakes, to co-workers, no one is safe. With catchy numbers like, the I really want-to-sing-along-but-don’t-know-the-words-yet Where the Hell is Darwin When You Need Him? to the cabaret style, People Suck… to the Gilbert & Sullivan inspired Of All the People Who I Hate, the show brought laughter and applause, as we recognized friends, neighbors, family members, and perhaps even ourselves (though that would mean we suck) in the pieces.

Countered with these fun tunes, were two surprisingly touching and heart-rending songs. Wright’s performance of Grade 7, a song about a bully encountered in middle school and the now impossible chance of closure, and the absolutely heartbreaking I Don’t Know What to Say, featuring Phillips as a mother talking to an upset child. Both of them put a unique spin on the show, taking it away from just a delightful comedy escape to give an emotional resonance to these things that affect us everyday, and how we deal with them.

The show passes too quickly, and has some wonderful moments, as we see friends who hide their envy of one another, co-workers who put on that friendly face but are really completely annoyed with each other, and those who absolutely slaughter the English language with their horrid grammar. That number, Of All The People Who I Hate, seemed to garner the largest response, though I did hear people sniffling towards the end of I Don’t Know What to Say.

This one makes for a fun evening with lots to laugh and lots to think about, and played last night to a sold-out audience.

If you haven’t seen it yet, it plays tonight at 10:30, Thursday at 5:15 and Saturday at 11:00. You can get your tickets here.



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