Been a little anxious the last few days…not that they haven’t been eventful enough. Certainly, the temporary adoption of Winston the Cat is enough event for ANY week. And the little bundle of fluff is making himself nicely at home. He’s all down with the eating and the pooping in the right places already, and damned if he doesn’t love a good scratching. So like I say…eventful.
But, it had been what seems to me like a long time since I saw me some play (how quickly I’ve spoiled myself on that note). Heck, the last show I saw was a repeat of THE LIST during my volunteer shift more than a week ago! So I was more than ready for some new stuffs when I made my way out to Algonquin campus for the May Can Theatre production of Daniel MacIvor’s YOU ARE HERE. I really didn’t know anything about the production…shit, I couldn’t even remember who it was invited me to it on Facebook. But I knew it was a MacIvor piece, and having already seen Fringe productions of his excellent THIS IS A PLAY and WILD ABANDON, I was eager and ready for some more. So I made my way thru the maze of the ‘Gonq campus, found building N, and hit up the theatre. The Studio Arts Theatre, if memory serves, and from the temperature I can only assume it’s where college officials keep the bodies of their enemies during regular hours. A MITE chilly. But like I always say, one must suffer for art, even someone else’s.
The show started, and I was quite delighted to see a familiar face taking the stage. I’d seen the lady Jenny David (not Davis, as I rather stunningly dumbly posted first…thanks to Lisa for correcting me) earlier this year in the great L’ASCENSEUR at the Youth Infringement Festival (caught it twice, in fact), and was suitably impressed back then. Today, I saw her take hold of the lead in a two-hour MacIvor play, and want to say two things right off the bat…1) Jenny David is fucking amazing, and 2) I really, REALLY want to see her in a comedy. And with that out of the way, on with the show:
The story revolves around the life of Alison, a journalist who is maybe a little too cynical for her own good, and the path her aspirations, friendships, romances, tragedies and just plain dumb luck takes her on. She meets a variety of sordid characters, from vain actresses to drugged-up gigolos, self-absorbed artists to her arch-enemy Connie Hoy. Her only reassuring constant seems to be her lifelong friend Richard. Played by Tony Adams, who also scored at Youth Infringement in SPEAKERS, Richard serves up most of the biggest laughs in the play, easily cracking the tension on the stage with only a well-placed word or two. He and David make a pretty killer bee combo onstage, and there’s plenty of very solid supporting work alongside (Jake William Smith’s viciously sleazy Justin definitely comes to mind). I have one or two minor quibbles with the production, and being a gentleman, I will do what any civilized individual SHOULD do with minor quibbles, and ignore the living shit out of them. What the fuck is a quibble anyhow??
YOU ARE HERE is a very, very good show, and as I write this there’s only ONE SHOW LEFT. Whether it’s for MacIvor’s deft wordplay, the great-deal-ness of it (2 hours of live theatre for ten bucks? You were only gonna buy crack anyway!), or for some amazing performances from what may prove to be Ottawa’s best new up-and-coming actors (besides, of course, me and everyone else in my class…represent!), you owe it to yourself and your morally bankrupt God…get out there and SEE IT. Saturday, 7:30, Building N at Algonquin college. Bring ten bucks and a sweater and tell them the visitor sent you. Peace out, go Jenny David go,
the Visitor (and Winston)