Flings: a Summer Roundup, part 2

NOW I’ve done it.  Hoo boy.  I didn’t think I really would…but I suppose a planetary-size shakeup in one’s personal life can make you do crazy things.  Sort of crazy.  We’ll get into that later.  First things second.  As in, second part of this awkwardly themed ‘Summer’ roundup of mine, which is mostly a feeble pretense to start posting again after a dry spell.  Because apparently, I’m all about the feeble.

So we did Summerworks yesterday, that happenin’ little terrorism-loving festival up Toronto way.  Today is Ottawa’s turn, specifically the recenly wrapped SUMMER FLING theatrical experiment.  A joint venture of a few different Rideau area businesses and venues, the Fling was an attempt to get some theatre going in our otherwise dry spell of a summer.It consisted of, if memory serves…EDUCATING RITA, INSEPERABLE, SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS, SATIN DOLLS and MY SUMMER CRUSH IMPROV at Arts Court, and MURDER ON THE NILE and TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE at Ottawa Little Theatre.  And maybe ROMEO AND JULIET, I’m not sure.  Tho that was around, too. 

So how did I do, right of the start..?  Pretty poorly, I have to be honest.  I made it to only 3 of the full orster of official events, which ain’t great.   I have my excuses, true, but that doesn’t help local theatre very much, so my apologies Flingers.  I’ll try harder next year!  lthough I was out of town for MORRIE and DOLLS, so I hope I can at least be forgiven for those two.

Without better inside information (I have none), I can’t be sure how the turnout was for these shows over the course of their runs…I hope things went well.   I know EDUCATING RITA was a dandy show that deserved a good turnout, and MY SUMMER CRUSH IMPROV may have single-handedly turned me around on the field of improv comedy.  The third show I made it out to, SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS, I just saw last week.  An Adam Bock play about love, all sorts’a love, and stacked with a killer cast to bring it all together.  Margo MacDonald (fresh from SHADOWS) and Manon StJules are a lesbian couple slouching towards marriage, if only Margo can quit smoking.  Simon Bradshaw camps it up as an unlucky in love gay man who falls for a shark…because why not?   And Marc Ouimet does make a smashing, scene-stealing killer of the deep (but watch out for the glass).  The trio of bobbling relationships rounds out with Maureen Smith as Barb, a woman having a bit of an existential crisis that doesn’t sit well with Bob, her sedentary newspaper-shaded grump of a husband played with heroic lack of movement by Richard Gelinas.

Okay, sure, the depth of this play is considerably less than the water in the shark tank, true…but I’ve never been one to argue with a well-played piece of fluff, and this seems to be that.  There’s fun direction and staging, fine performances, and even a happy ending that, considering my mood when I saw this thing, I rather needed.  So,thumbs up (as mentioned, a useless thumbs up as the run is over, but better late than never..?) for a sweet and funny, trippy story about six clueless fools in love. 

So there it is…sorry again to INSEPERABLE, which I really meant to get out to last week.  But it looks like the weather is going to hold tonite, so maybe I’ll at least get to see Odyssey Theatre’s THEY ALL DO IT before it ends, which is something.  And that’ll be something to talk about another day.

Oh, and that ‘crazy thing’ I did that I mentioned way up at the top..?  This fall, I’m taking my first acting course at the School for Speech and Drama.  Wish me luck, hey?  And see you around,

the Visitor

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