Could we BE any more ex­cited?

Friends three ways: a fan-friendly mu­si­cal par­ody with Ross, Mon­ica and the gang, a visit to the Cen­tral Perk-in­spired café and trivia about the show

North Toronto Post - - Currents - By Ron John­son

The one about the the­atre We love our pop cul­ture. And what might even be a smidge bet­ter is mak­ing fun of our pop cul­ture ob­ses­sion. Case in point, Friends!

The Mu­si­cal Par­ody, which runs at the CAA The­atre Nov. 1 to 25.

The New York City com­pany that cre­ated the show is well versed in pop cul­ture par­ody, hav­ing al­ready knocked off send-ups of well­known sit­coms in­clud­ing Full

House and Bev­erly Hills 90210. So why not tackle one of the sit­com world’s most rev­ered shows.

“Af­ter five par­ody mu­si­cals about TV shows, we’re fi­nally ready to pivot to one of the most pop­u­lar TV shows ever,” says Bob McSmith, of the show writ­ing team Bob and Tobly McSmith.

“There’s plenty to celebrate and poke fun at on such an iconic TV show loved by mil­lions all over the world. No pres­sure.”

Friends (as you may know) is a long-run­ning Amer­i­can TV sit­com, cre­ated by David Crane and Marta Kauff­man, which aired on NBC from 1994 to 2004.

The show chron­i­cles a sex­tet of New York City twen­tysome­things — Mon­ica, Rachel, Phoebe, R oss, Chan­dler and Joey — as they nav­i­gate the new world of adult­ing, p et mon­keys, singing about smelly cats and more.

For a cer­tain gen­er­a­tion, t he show brought new mean­ing to phrases such as “We were on a break!” “She’s your lob­ster” and “How you doin’?” The par­ody mu­si­cal is a high­light r eel of mo­ments all smooshed into one happy evening of whim­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment. “Friends! The Mu­si­cal Par­ody is a lov­ing lam­poon of the TV show,” Bob says. “It’s cat­nip for fans of Friends but also enjoyable to peo­ple who’ve never seen an episode in their lives (if those peo­ple ex­ist).” Of course, pick­ing and choos­ing episodes had its chal­lenges. “We ap­proach each par­ody dif­fer­ently depend­ing on what’s im­por­tant to us about the source ma­te­rial,” he says. “For Friends, we felt that it would be a disser vice to not cram in all nine seaso ns of sto­ry­lines and have some fun mo­ments with fan favourites like Jan­ice, Gun­ther, Mar­cel the Mon­key and other sur­prises.” Ru­mour has it even Fat Mon­ica makes an ap­pear­ance. So what can pa­trons ex­pect f rom an evening of Friends send-ups? “You can ex­pect to have a great night out with all your ‘friends,’ Bob says. “The show has got a lot of laughs and a lot of heart. We want ev­ery­one who sees the show to laugh, r em­i­nisce and re­turn to a sim­pler time when it wasn’t o ut of the or­di­nary to spend all day ev­ery day with a small gr oup of peo­ple sit­ting on the same couch in the same cof­fee shop.” For ticket in­for­ma­tion, go to Mirvish.com.

And just so you can re­ally get your nineties fix, here are two ad­di­tional hang­outs to add to your day with the Friends gang. The one about the cof­fee shop Al­though a long time in the mak­ing, a

Friends- themed cof­fee shop named Cen­tral Café, mod­elled af­ter the Cen­tral Perk café in the TV se­ries, has opened in downtown Toronto at 52 Bathurst St.

What bet­ter way to get in the mood for a lit­tle bit of Chan­dler and his mis­placed “wenus” than a big cuppa o n a replica Friends couch and cof­fee ta­ble. The one about the bar We all know that Toronto has a thing for trivia. On any given night, in wa­ter­ing holes across the city, peo­ple of the smar ty-pants per­sua­sion gather to sip li­ba­tio ns and an­swer questions on top­ics rang­ing f rom punk rock to Party of Five. So it is no sur prise than one of the most iconic TV come­dies of all-time is also in­cluded in the fun.

Ready to test your knowl­edge? Throw your hat into the r ing at a tr ivia challenge at Yorkville’s favourite pub, Hem­ing­way’s.

On five nights in Novem­ber, the Ki­wilov­ing tav­ern hosts Friends 4.0 Trivia. T here is an $8.50 en­try, a nd 25 per cent of ticket sales goes to char­ity. Go to Hem­ing­ways.to for de­tails.

‘Friends’ like you’ve never seen it be­fore

Cen­tral Café couch

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