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Fringe review: MEAT (The Musical)

MEAT (The Musical)
Directed by Sarah Adam and Shaney Borden; The Brisket Club; Thomas Bennett Room at the Varscona Hotel; until Sun., Aug. 25.
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MEAT (The Musical)

By Jordan Abel

I’m just going to say it: I loved MEAT (The Musical). The story, for anyone that’s ever worked in a restaurant, is probably a familiar one. The entirety of the play takes place during a single day at MEAT (the restaurant), and revolves quite lovingly around a cast of colourful characters with funny quirks that are all serving tables, making drinks, smoking brisket, and doing side duties. The only difference here is that the loveable servers in MEAT (The Musical) break out into song pretty much all the time. And it is ah-mazing.

I think what I loved most about this play is that for Sarah Adam and Shaney Borden—who are the masterminds and stars of MEAT—this project is a beautiful love letter to not only everyone in the restaurant industry but very specifically to all of their coworkers, bosses, and family (as they note in the program) at MEAT. And, based on the production I saw on Sunday night, this play is absolutely full of love and tenderness and heart.

But I think it’s also really important to note that MEAT is very, very funny. The audience I saw this play with could not stop laughing, and I personally kind of lost it at my now favourite musical number ever (“Get Saucy”) that is actually a song about barbecue sauces—plural. The musical numbers in MEAT really stole the show, and I felt like the songs were always on point.

That actually brings me to my one, small criticism about MEAT, which is that when the cast wasn’t singing, the energy in the dialogue and the acting never quite matched up with the wild enthusiasm of the musical numbers.

If you’re lucky enough to already have a ticket for this sold-out show, I hope you can soak up every last moment. If you’re part of the unlucky group without a ticket yet, here’s hoping this production gets picked up for Fringe’s Holdover Series. Highly recommended!

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