REVIEW: Wolves > Boys @ Ottawa Fringe 2012

Two friends meet in a grave yard and give a deeply personal look into their friendship. Should you see it?

In Wolves > Boys, two friends, Lawrence and Isaac, meet in a cemetery. Lawrence invited Isaac down, but hasn’t told him why they are there. As time passes, they share stories about past relationships, how they met, and how Isaac really, really wants to fight a wolf. Interspersed with this story is a tale about ghost wolves and a conflict between the confident Alpha Wolf and the more compassionate Beta Wolf.

The show has a very conversational tone. Both characters quickly veer off topic, ramble on and bust each other’s balls, and the dialogue feels very natural, raw and average. The actors, Tony Adams and Cory Thibert, share an undeniable chemistry and work well with each other, able to bounce dialogue back and forth of each other. In fact, it’s almost eerie. At times it felt like romantic chemistry and I almost thought they might kiss on more than one occasion. They even call it out near the end of the play. The writing is also witty and the two boys have a penchant for making lame puns. One thing that stood out to me during the performance was that the scenes were named out loud by the actors before they started. It’s such a small thing, and most people will probably not care, but it seemed unnecessary and took me out of show.

What I also liked about the show was the more emotional scenes between the characters. It is not entirely a light-hearted screwball comedy. But I really appreciated the show for that. It gives the show an added emotional heft. All in all, Wolves > Boys is a really well-crafted show. Adams and Thibert have incredible chemistry and the show hits you in multiple ways. Wolves > Boys earns itself a four.

Allan’s Followup:

I’m not really sure how I felt about Wolves > Boys. Tony Adams and Cory Thibert are very talented and have great chemistry and I enjoyed watching them perform the story of these two friends on stage. I also appreciated the cleanness and theatricality of their shifts between multiple story lines. Plus, there were a lot of great comedic moments - a highlight being the discussion of fighting different monsters and amounts of twelve year olds. Or when they were about to kiss. There was a lot of fun to be had in the show. I think with the right story/material, they could put on a show that will rank with some of my favourite theatre.

But this wasn’t it. (You knew there was a “but” coming.) I loved a lot of the individual components but I just didn’t connect to the overall material or feel the connection between the ghost wolf story and the main storyline. Kurt broke down the play’s story fairly accurately so I won’t repeat that (the beauty of writing a followup) which means there isn’t much more I can say, really. There’s nothing specific that bothered me, it just didn’t draw me in, leaving me split right down the middle. Three.

- by Allan Mackey


Kurt Shantz

About Kurt Shantz

Kurt Shantz is a Theatre and Scriptwriting graduate and an occasional Should You See It reviewer. He currently works as a warehouse clerk, but has big aspirations of someday achieving his dream of becoming a senior warehouse clerk. He's also been known to write on occasion.

Links to this article.

  1. [...] followup by Allan (pending) White Noise — Review by Kurt, followup by Allan + VIDEO Wolves > Boys — Review by Kurt, followup by [...]

What do you think?

We fully encourage discussion and want to know what you're thinking but always remember to keep it civil and don't make any personal attacks against the article author or another commenter.