So I’m sick. And THAT is a thing that is not going away anywhere near as fast as I’d like.  Blah.  No wonder I never take vacations, they apparently hate my guts.

Whatever…as I’ve said before, what’s art without suffering?  And art is what we’re here for, folks, art and getting needlessly confused by the underground transit at Spadina station which happens to me EVERY FUCKING TIME I’M HERE!  Is it my fault?  It is isn’t it?  Shit.  At least I made it out to Sonic Boom, and picked me up some sweet Kinji Fukasaku Yakuza gangster movies.  Not my last batch of discs, I promise you!  And after my train mixup, I still made it just in time for KAYAK by Jordan Hall, at the Passe Muraille Studio.  I was a little nervous about this one, because it’s an eco-themed play, and those are often realy hard to balance out (you know, between the storytelling, and the ‘stop killing the planet’).  There was a great central gimmick, with leading lady Rosemary Dunsmore owning the show from her kayak in center stage.  It WAS a well told story, and the other ators were dynamite too.  Tho how come every time I see an environmentally themed play, the ‘eco-warrior’ character is always an insufferable prick? A well-acted prick, by Dienye Wasabo, but still not someone you’d want to hang out with.  Maybe the environmental movement has terrible self-esteem?  Perhaps.  But they’ve also got a great play.  Dig it.

Turned around and hit the Passe Muraille mainspace for THE HAUNTED HILLBILLY next.  And finally, I can honestly say I’ve seen a hootenanny onstage.  My friends, you won’t find much more in the way of a crowd-pleasing, rip-snortin’, knee slapping good time of a piece of theatre for miles around, and I’m willing to guarantee that with whatever’s lying around.   The twisted tale of love, ambition, country music and the terrible secret behind sequins, this is just plain damn FUN. 

My ill self was failing at this point,so I chugged a V-8, had a veggie dog, and stumbled into the Factory Theatre Studio (Toronto stages are HIGH, I’m noticing that) for MISS CALEDONIA.  Written and performed by one Melody Johnson, along with some keen on-stage violin from one Alison Porter…this is exactly the kind of show I’m a sucker for.  Melody tells a spirited tale of a farmgirl in 50’s Caledonia, nursing dreams of winning the local pageant and escaping her rural surroundings.  A simple enough story, but she weaves it gorgeously, charming the room with ease and peppering the proceedings with enough laughs AND tears to keep us all on our toes.  Absolutely wunnerful.  I’m SO happy I saw it.

And that was it for me tonite…I was just feeling too crappy to wait out another hour and a half for the final show of the ee, whatever it would have been.  When I’m better, I’ll properly rant on how the Hell come I have to routinely wait AN HOUR AND A GOD DAMN HALF in between this festival’s shows, but right now, I’m just gonna go sleepies.  And dream dreams of Caledonia.  Your pal,

The Visitor


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