by Dave Ross
I saw Tinfoil Dinosaur on a whim, after the actor/playwright Sam Mullins flyered me in a line while I waited to see another show. Mullins was already in-character, explaining how it was his story of moving to Vancouver and coping with a social anxiety disorder. He said it was hilarious, and moved on. His impromptu plot summary was completely accurate – he moves to Vancouver to pursue his dream of living in a big city, and finds himself falling flat on his face instead. Overwhelmed by the city, the people in it, his finances dwindling, Mullins hit rock bottom, but was saved by, of all things, a dinosaur made of tinfoil.
Mullins’ show is just him, telling his story. The wonderful thing about his performance is that while this is the story of Sam Mullins, Sam becomes an everyman. As such, we can identify with Sam and his experiences, from his elation at moving to Vancouver, to wondering if he can keep doing “this.” Each of us can see parts of ourselves in Sam, rather like looking into a mirror. It is this reflective quality that makes this show so raw and true. Mullins’ comedic style keeps the content light though, and protects the show from treacle.
Tinfoil Dinosaur was received well at the Montreal Fringe, won Best of Fest at the Winnipeg Fringe in 2011, and was Champion at the Vancouver Story Slam in 2010. This show is a must-see of the Toronto Fringe. Tinfoil Dinosaur only has 2 shows left (July 13 @ 10:30pm and July 14 @ 8:00pm) and is very popular so be sure to arrive early. This show is delivered with such integrity that it doesn’t deserve to be missed.