visitorium

A Lumiere up yer Kilt

In Company of Fools, Theatre on September 5, 2010 at 2:34 am

Two hits of theatre in as many days, not a lot of rest time in between, and dammit, I forgot to do that whole ‘coming up this month’ thing I was starting to do.  Oh well, I’m sure someone already did it better than I would have…just try and make it out to something, willya?  Or clean your room at least, it’s filthy.

Dodged the raindrops yesterday to check out some sweet, sweet hardcore gay theatre in the fashion of tototoo’s KILT by Jonathon Wlson.  Had to venture into the right friendly After Stonewall earlier in the day for my ticket…did you know there’s, like, a whole section in that bookstore devoted solely to ‘Lesbian Mystery’?  And now, that’s ALL I wanna read. 

You mean like 'is she or isn't she?' kinda mystery?

But that would have to wait for another day.  I wandered into Arts Court, had a cookie for dinner, felt pleased how unthreatened I was being the token straight man in the crowded foyer (Kurt Fitzpatrick, eat your heart out) and flipped through what may be the single poshest program I’ve received all year.  Even a souvenir matchbook…very nice.

Headed insideand sat front and center, which, let’s face it, took some nerve on my part.  I’m no fool, after all.   It’s a queer-centric play called KILT…I knew perfectly well I was in for some cock and balls and, let me get this out of the way right now, I was not wrong on that note.  If that’s your thing, this was the show for you.  Not that there wasn’t plenty else worth seeing in the production.

The show centers around table dancin’ ‘Tartan’ Tom, a gay man who dances in the kilt left him by the Grandfather he’s never known.  The same Grandfather, a war hero known as Mac, who we learn via Tom’s uptight Mother has just passed away.  Which means it’s time for a return trip to Sctoland for the funeral…and a few leaps back to Mac’s secret past, while stationed in Africa during WWII.

Now, this show was billed as ‘queer theatre’.  I don’t know what the merry Hell THAT is, but after seeing Kilt I can say it bears an astonishing resemblance to ‘theatre’.  Attempts like that to pigeonhole oneself always worry me, although that’s more an aesthetic concern than anything.  The play, sexual politics aside, was a good one.  The directing by David Ferguson was solid, especially when it occasionally got more daring, mixing the mostly clearly-cut timeframes.  Caroline Bowden as Tom’s Aunt Mary, and Paul Washer as David were standouts, and made the somewhat long running time jog right by.  Craig Richardson did double duty as Tom AND Mac, appearing in literally every scene, a tall order.  I found he succeeded more as Mac than Tom…who, quite frankly, was the least interesting caracter in the entire play. 

I DID find the play seemed a touch long…subplots would be introduced (like the dancing school Tom’s Mother runs, in danger of closing) for the sole purpose of never being mentioned again.  And loads of gay in-jokes and wink/nod references, in a play marketed towards a gay audience, are the equivalent of a basketball to the crotch in a Ben Stiller movie…easy shots.  Fun to do, sure, but kinda beneath you after a while.

That being whined about, KILT was a good time, and I’m gonna stop in on the Tototoo crowd again.  I think they’ve got something coming up in November, I’ll keep you posted.  After the show, my bus was good and late, hence the lateness of THIS review.  As with my previous review post, this review is absolutely too late to help anyone.  Kind of like this next one, coming up, now.

Today after I got off work at the Clocktower, I hopped a bus out to New Edinburgh’s Stanley Park (a hop away from one of the OTHER Clocktowers, oddly) where something called the LUMIERE Festival was going on, in spite of prodigious threats of thunderstorms.  A family affair, featruing lots of lantern-making, frolicking, and…I don’t know, basket weaving?  I was there for one thing only…some goddamned funny Shakespeare.

This came about, after a mightily rousing entry parade, courtesy of Ottawa’s COMPANY OF FOOLS, although I’m ashamed to say I didn’t recognize every one of the four faces putting on today’s show, SHAKESPEARE’S INTERACTIVE CIRCUS.  Richard Gelinas and FamousActressNancyKenny, sure, but I am drawing a blank on the other two.

ETA: Thanks to Nancy Kenny for the info, those two other superfools would be Scott Florence, and Emmanuelle Zeesman!  I didn’t even recognize her, oh shame.  They were both all kinds of awesome…thanks, and back to the writeup. 

The gang gave us a triple-dose of kid-friendly Shakespeare amped up on cartoon goofballs.  First, via an 80’s stylee rapped-out ROMEO AND JULIET, then a gloriously goried rendition of ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, and capped off with a fast paced round robin TAMING OF THE SHREW.  As was the case earlier this summer, it’s a pleasure and privilege watching the Fools do their thing.  Gelinas is comic gold, and I’m beginning to realize there’s precious little Elisabeth Shue…I’m sorry, Nancy Kenny…can’t do well.  I’m hoping she reads this and is kind enough to fill me in on the Fools whose names I’m missing, because they were also freakin’ dynamite. 

I did not stick around after  the show, as the weather that had thus far held out was starting to waver, and I headed out this morning dressed for a heat wave.  That, and I’m getting all sourly antisocial again.  Can’t wait to see how volunteering AND acting school clashes with that shit.   I expect to have imploded by this time next month.  Until then, merry theatring everybody.

The Visitor

  1. Heh. That would be the Big Fool himself, Scott Florence, and Emmanuelle Zeesman whom you may have caught in The Andrews Brothers at The Gladstone.

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