Getting close…after this I’ll only have one final night of shows to post about before it’s time for the long, grim ride back to Ottawa, and work. So let’s enjoy this baby while we can! As for yesterday, that meant a breakfast at Mars, lunch at Sneaky Dee’s, a few books from She Said Boom!, and an afternoon show.
Well, that was the plan, anyhow…FOSTER CHILD PLAY had other ideas, and went and got all sold out before I could haul my overheated butt on over there. I’ll just assume then that it was a fantastic show, selling out and all, so yay, Foster Child Play! Nice one. You’re all very special people, and I said so.
So, some impromptu down time later, I was back at the Factory, where I was in for a shock indeed. It seems that, through no intentional malice on my part, some people have maybe, sorta mistaken me for that strange beast, ‘the press’. Summerworks is listing my updates in their media press relase updates, and now, as I saw at the garden yesterday (and got photographic evidence I’ll share once i get back to my own computer) the good folks at BIOGRAPHIES OF THE DEAD AND DYING are actually using one of MY review quotes on their sandwich board! A first for me, I assure you, but I promise there was no deliberate intention to deceive! I’m not a critic, or member of the 4th estate in any way, shape or form, just an idiot with a blog and free time. But thanks terribly for the compliment, and I sure hope I can help out before someone gets wise to me and moves in with the billy clubs.
Getting over that surprise, I headed for the ticket table, this time making it in to SAY GINGER ALE by Marcia Johnson. A refreshing bit of fluff (as theatre does tend towards the morbid and downbeat, all that melodrama and other jazz), and a smart story about a Jamaican-born woman who must make her first ever trip back home after moving to Canada at age 6. Will she appreciate her heritage? Get her tough-as-nails Grandmother to see a doctor? Get the boy? See it and find out, as it’s a pretty great show, good actin’, great fun, and a smart look at trying to balance two backgrounds at the expense of neither. Raven Dauda steals the show quite handily as Grandma, by the by, but don’t hold that against her. Just enjoy.
A quick enough turnaround after that to check out THE INNOCENTS by Daniel Karasik. An ensemble of five fabulously cool actors carry this one handily through it’s story of fulfillment (and lack thereof), ennui, and the old question of just when in your life you can say Í’ve arrived’. Now, I have to admit, INNOCENTS kind of left me cold, personally. It’s obviously a good play, and a few of the performances are real knockouts, but you know when you just don’t connect like you’re supposed to? That happened to me, and no fault to the gang onstage. It’s still easily worth a look, and for sure most of the near-sellout crowd was having a blast at my viewing.
Too much downtime after this one, so I hit some apparently nameless bar a few blocks down queen for a few pints of 50 before heading back (almost stayed…really cozy place!). There was a nice buzz going in the garden outside the factory, and most of it was heading in to my last show of the day, ME HAPPY by Amy Lee Lavoie and Matthew Mackenzie. And damn, good way to end the evening. ME HAPPY is a perfect god damn delight, a direct infusion of sweet and hysterical right to your brainstem. Chala Hunter and Alex McCooeye are dead-on hilarious in their roles as star-crossed paramours sharing a long-distance meeting of letters…the script is genuinely warm and disturbingly funny…a dream of a show. Hope you make it out to this one, because your soul will thank you for it.
Off to scour some late breakfast now, and get ready for what will be my final day of Summerworks. Hope to see you around tonight, and happy festing,