Written and Directed by Zoe Daniels;
Part of Horse Trade's FRIGID New York
Off Off Broadway, Play
Runs through 3.5.16
UNDER St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Place
by Adrienne Urbanski on 3.3.16
Zoe Daniels in Don't Move to Toronto.
BOTTOM LINE: This one-woman show detailing the demise of one woman's first serious relationship is endearing, touching, and laugh out loud funny.
Don’t Move to Toronto encompasses Zoe Daniels’ post college experience as a twenty-something in her first serious live-in relationship with her boyfriend and her first attempts at finding employment. These experiences culminate in many minor disasters and misadventures, all of which Daniels reenacts for us endearingly with an eye for making the details of everyday life interesting and very funny.
Daniels opens her story by describing the magic of first love and connecting with another person sexually. After leaving St. Paul, Minnesota to attend college in Canada at McGill she decides to move to Toronto with her boyfriend. The two find their ideal apartment and decide their love must be meant to be as they spend their early days of cohabitating jamming to their favorite Fleetwood Mac song, “I Don’t Wanna Know”. Daniels notes the darker double meaning in the song and foreshadows to the eventual sad demise of their relationship, saying she wished she had known the tragic ending waiting just around the corner.
Daniels’ time in domestic bliss is interrupted by a neighbor who has some sort of mental breakdown and decides that drumming against their wall at all hours of the early morning is acceptable as he doesn’t live in time. He then proceeds to flood the neighboring apartments when he fills his apartment with water while screaming that he is a god. After finding disturbing ritual offerings encircling their door, Daniels and her boyfriend flee the apartment. During this time she fills her days hunting for jobs on Craigslist and finding such situations as working for a sketchy gym as a trainer for a mere $60 a day until she's abruptly fired without just cause or proper notice. Later as Daniels and her boyfriend drift apart they attempt to salvage their relationship by going a budget trip across Europe, which quickly turns into the trip from hell when her boyfriend declares that he will never love her again.
As a performer and writer, Daniels shows a knack for turning ordinary stories into the extraordinary, by finding humorous details to focus on and delivering her punchlines skillfully enough to milk every laugh. Her enigmatic and cutesy demeanor is immensely appealing and makes the audience empathize with her pitfalls on her path to adulthood. Don’t Move to Toronto shows that you can find humor in even the most terrible times of your life.
(Don't Move to Toronto plays at Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Place, through March 5, 2016. The running time is 1 hour with no intermission. Remaining performances are Thursday 3/3 at 10:30; and Saturday 3/5 at 5:30. Tickets are $12-$15 and are available at frigidnewyork.info. For more information visit frigidnewyork.info.)
Don't Move to Toronto is Written, Directed and Performed by Zoe Daniels. Dramaturgy is by Mikaela Dyke.