Starring The National Theatre of the World. Written by Matt Baram. Composed by Waylen Miki. Directed by Chris Earle. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, to Dec. 22.
A song and dance–filled holiday spectacular in which Rob Ford tries to win back public favour before the next by-election? The jokes write themselves. Alas, it seems like the satirical savants at The National Theatre of the World (NToW), known for their innovative improv and comedy shows, put little thought into this seasonal skewer of our “most infamous mayor of all.” That line may sound catchy when sung to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and Paul Bates has mastered Ford’s signature squeak, but It’s a Wonderful Toronto gets lost in sardonic humour. The jokes meander from fatphobic digs to glib allusions to crime at Jane and Finch, and not even the IKEA monkey can brighten things up. This show fails to provide a sense of why it’s a wonderful Toronto after all, but, like Ford’s mayoralty, we hope this is just a blip in our city’s history that we (and NToW) can quickly put behind us.