One exciting day yesterday, folks, DAMNED exciting! SO exciting, I’m not even going to bother telling you about how I bruised my ribs at a punk show on the weekend, or that hundred dollar lapdance I got just before. You don’t want to hear THAT boring drivel, you’re here for the good stuff…local independant theatre!
Following a particularly un-exciting day of drudgery, I schlepped across town to fashionable Hintonburg and the GCTC, where the media launch was taking place for the hotly-anticipated (by me) UNDERCURRENTS festival, coming this January/February. For some reason, they let ME in there, and I was more than willing to take advantage (personally, I think they just knew I’d be willing to pay for beer, but whatever…). I’ll forego my usual name-dropping here for the sake of brevity, suffice to say that OMG THERES ALL SORTZ OF FAMOUSPEEPS HERE!!! *sigh* Your visitor was in geek-heaven, folks, and some people even TALKED to me. I’m not lying, it’s true! And taller-even-than-me GCTC marketing man Kevin Falkingham even saw fit to give yours truly a media kit for the launch! I tell ya, I was feeling like three different kinds of big-shot right then.
Fringe ninja Pat Gauthier then took to the makeshift stage and got things underway, officially announcing the lineup of six shows for the inaugural festival. Three shows a week, each show gets four runs, two weeks total. Short but very, very sweet. the lineup is:
SHADOWS by Margo MacDonald. Yes, the sellout boss of this year’s fringe gets another chance to impress Ottawa, with Margo Mac and Sarah Finn returning to shine up the stage with their awesomeness. Don’t miss it THIS time around.
HARD WAYS by Jason Cadieux, a one-manner about a man trapped by airport security with a wad of cash, trying to talk himself out. And you know I like me a one-man show.
BIFURCATE ME by Julie leGal, Andy Massingham and Kevin Orr.A play described as a ‘theatrical drug trial’, which pretty much already has me sold.
SPENT by Dean Gilmour, Adam Paolozza, Ravi Jain and Michele Smith. A fast-paced tale about two high-test execs who wake up one morning to find out they’re lost it all. Hard to resist, really…
MY PREGNANT BROTHER by Johanne Nutter. Gauthier gushed pretty earnestly about this play that he saw in Montreal, and his word should be good enough for the likes of you! And to finish…
THIS IS A RECORDING by Kelly Rigole and Simon Bradshaw. I’m SO stoked that this gem from the ’09 Fringe Fest is getting another run. I’ll be seeing it at least one more time, and you’d be nuts to skip it.
You can peek at more info and the full schedule with prices at the official GCTC site, but this is all just a huge win for Ottawa. Festivals are fun for theatre, period. We need more of them, as I seem to recall vaguely discussing with Wayne at the launch. I say ‘vaguely’ because by the time Pat left the stage and we all started milling about, I was on my 4th beer and it wasn’t even seven pm, and the night was nowhere near over!
No, because now was the time to leave this pastoral atmosphere and jet back downtown, to everyone’s fav’rit theatrical setting, the Montgomery Legion Hall! Which means a) more drinking, naturally, and b) it’s time for the WRECKING BALL. The Ball is a tradition started in 04 in TO, according to the program, an effort to get some politics in our theatre, instead of vice versa. It’s intentionally last-minute in nature, to make things more exciting and keep it all nice and fresh. I managed to get there in time to snag a primo chaise up front, and ended up chatting with one of the performers, singer Dave Tough. A charming guitaring gent indeed, he performed two songs over the evening, and was pretty supoib if I do say so. Mighty Tania Levy had a great storybook skewering of our transit woes to start the evening off, and a mini-SOMEONE FOR EVERYONE reunion had Cat Leger, Sarah Finn and Geoff McBride with a loverly look at a certain special kind of theatre. And dynamite St.Vincent dePaul costumes, too.
More musical interludes, from the great Todd Duckworth, Glenn Nuotio and his happenin’ keyboard, and Dennis van Staalduinen with his ‘light rail trilogy’, apparently beloved by Mayor Larry himself! My own personal highlight may have been when Pierre Brault (who blew me away in PORTRAIT OF AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN, and soon will again in THE SHADOW CUTTERS) performed his one-man ‘Foregone Conclusion 2010′, mimicking a variety of characters in perfect succession, from Larry to Jim Watson, Adrian Harewood to Oni the Haitian Sensation (and hells yeah I was right there with the finger-snapping! That’s how quick a spoken-word convert I am! BOOM!). Brault returned to the stage for the finale, along with Kris Joseph, Todd Duckworth, Andy Massingham and Alix Sideris for their mayoral Dating Game, which was too much fuckin’ fun.
Kudos to Joseph and the others for writing these pieces in such short order, because they were all pretty damn fine. And all for a few good causes to boot, the Actors Fund of Canada, and Doctors Without Borders. I’ll drink to that! And, oh, did I ever…
A quiet day today, relaxing afore comic and acting class day tomorrow, a new show to see on Thursday, maybe Friday too. I like having things to do, it’s a nice feeling. And I’ll get back to the name dropping next time, promise. Because, just like a shiny new media kit, it makes me feel like a big shot. Peace and soul,
The Visitor (and Winston)