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Toronto Star

August 12th, 1999

SUBURBAN GOTHIC HORROR MUSICAL THE PLAY TO WATCH SO FAR

By Robert Crew. Arts Writer.

    Growing up can be terrifying, at least according to young Billy Wuthergloom and his best friend, Hirskill Fischmascher.

    For starters, there's a naked female monster- a succubus, no less-living under Billy's bed. Then there are girls to worry about, not to mention nocturnal emissions. Then one day you look in the mirror and realize you've lost your reflection.

    All this and more can be found in The Strange & Eerie Memoirs of Billy Wuthergloom, A self-styled "suburban-gothic musical horror" now playing at the Tarragon Theatre as part of the continuing Summerworks Theatre Festival. (The festival continues at Tarragon and Factory Theatres through Sunday.)

    Written by Eric Woolfe, who also plays Billy, Strange & Eerie is the quintessential fringe show- quirky, funny, unusual and certainly worth a look.

    Billy's journey through adolescence is eased by his friend , Hirskill Fischmascher, "a wormy little boy who could see things other kids couldn't". Hirskill Fischmascher can deal with demons and knows all about ghosts, but he's doomed.

    Woolfe is a delight. So are his songs; this guy can write lyrics. And let's not forget composer Marc Downing, who plays the Creepy Musician, and the assorted puppets and props that spring to life on stage.

    Based on a series of short stories in the cult 'zine, The Greenway Papers, it's a charming work, my favourite so far at Summerworks. The next performance is today at 2pm in the Tarragon  Mainspace.