Really dragging my heels on posting these days, or so it feels like to me. And I’ve even had a good little theatre weekend! Friday nite I saw VIMY again, during my first-of-three volunteer shifts for it. And I’m STILL not gonna review it yet. I mean, just think how dazzlingly comprehensive a job I’ll be able to do on it after FOUR viewings! I’m all a-tingle.
What I WILL talk about is my nite out at the Ottawa Little Theatre on Saturday, for the Eastern Ontario Drama League’s One-Act Play Festival, or rather the last of three parts of it. I was sadly only able to make it to the final grouping of three short works, put on by various community theatre groups from across Eastern Ontario. I’ve felt kinda bad that I haven’t been to any of the OLT’s regular season stuff yet, so it was good to be able to hit up their fine establishment again, and the first time ever in my silly ‘Visitor’ reviewing mode.
The Little Theatre, a wonderful room (with 5$ bottles of Guiness, yo!), was hosting the annual get-together for the EODL, and staged three showings of three plays each, over two days. Every play had to be between 25 and 60 minutes, so it had a bit of a Fringe feel to the proceedings. Which suits me just fine.
The first show of the evening was MY NARRATOR, a Norm Foster bit put on by Studio Theatre Productions in Perth. The story is a fun one about artist Lacy and her would-be paramour Miles, and more importantly Lacy’s onstage externalized Narrator, Barb. It was a great, fun production, and would later go on to win the audience award for the entire festival, so I lucked out with a gooder indeed. I’d happily see this merry play again.
My second show, actually WAS a repeat for me, a show I’d seen at my first Ottawa Fringe with, obviously, a different cast. Daniel MacIvor’s THIS IS A PLAY, put on by the Peterborough Theatre Guild (Peterborough shoutout…hi Caren!), is a terrifically fun show about the inner thoughts of a group of actors putting on a bad play (badly). It was terrific back at the Fringe, and it was terrific this time too. Kudos to the players, who did a great job with the material. It’s all too short at half an hour…not because it needs to be longer, you just don’t want it to end. Now I’m looking forward to MacIvor’s THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT at the GCTC even more.
The final show was one that I was glad I caught, if only for the brilliant, wonderful name…Carl Cashin’s THE VISITOR, performed by the Bay of Quinte Community Players. A curious period/genre piece about a night in London during WWII, an aging publican and her chatty regular, two pilots and their ladies, and…a time traveller from the present. It’s a bit disjointed, to be honest, and was hard pressed to follow up the two more polished shows (from more well known playwrights) that preceded it. But there was some nice performances in it, especially from the older actors, and, again…man, what a great title. Good one, Bay of Quinte.
All in all, I had good fun (although mental note: next time, don’t stay for the public adjudication. Very well-intentioned but boring as all merry get-out. Go straight for the free food in the lobby, you’ll be the better for it). And I hope next year I can make it out for the whole thing. Although it probably won’t be held in Ottawa next year, I suppose…ah well.
Oh, and on the fast-breaking news scene, congrats to John Koensgen for not only nabbing a Capital Critics Circle award for his contribution to Ottawa theatre, but also for himself, Peter Froelich and Paul Rainville winning a special jury award for the perfectly goddamned delightful HEROES. What is the Capital Critics Circle, you ask? Well, some conclave of critics about town, near as I can figure. They even count among their number my beloved old Gymkata sparring partner Denis Armstrong!
But I kid…it’s nice to see the media using their powers for good instead of pure, unadulterated evil ONE day out of the year. Congrats to all the other winners…It sounds like a fun party, but I needed to spend some time with the roomie tonite. Winston’s been a little squirrely these days, making the occasional poo in, quite frankly, not at all the correct place. I suspect he is merely confused by the rumours that his Mom has been spotted lurking about town in period garb. Cats are so easily disturbed in the brainpan. Sigh…
Well, I just found out today that I’m not working tomorrow nite as dreaded, so maybe I can hoof it out to TAMING OF THE SHREW if I get my shit together. And later this week there’s I, Martin Yesterday, Six Characters in Search of an Authour, the Blacksmith…phew. Don’t know how much I’ll make it out for, but you lot will be the first to know, wont’cha? And yay, I’m off-page for the script we were to memorize for wednesday’s class! Okay, it’s only, like, 12 lines, but I still nailed it. It’s a start…capital critics, here I come! Peace, love and soul, y’all,
The Visitor (and Winston)