I’m a little behind on my planned end-of-year post…no, I don’t mean early, neither. In the Visitorian calendar, we’re already a couple days into the new year. But I have a good excuse! Seems there were a few birthdays getting in the way, and social butterfly that you know I am, I could hardly turn a blind eye.
Especially when, y’know, one of the birthdays was mine.
So there I was, ready to party hard and celebrate my XXth birthday (censored for reasons of national security), when I gt word that the good folks at EVOLUTION THEATRE are having their own anniversary shindig on the same day! Well, folks, what could I do but send out humble apologies to the hundreds already flocking toward the Visitorium to pay homage, bravely foregoing my own soiree to do my part and perk up the spirits of local theatre! It was the least I could do, and not only because I’m totally lying about anybody giving a rat’s ass about MY birthday. But mostly, yeah. So off to Evolution I went!
It was a day filled with good portents, I found…I ended up having breakfast at Ada’s right next to my acting Boss Barry Karp, then later on ran into my hypercool chum Emma (occasional drinkslinger at the GCTC among other endeavours) at the rideau centre. Cheered, I whiled away the time at the Dominion Tavern, drinking Redcap and reading through a stack of 25 cent back issue comix from the silver snail (and some of them were truly epic…more in another post). then the hour approached, and I legged it through the cold and snow to Arts Court Theatre, where the Evolution gang was…still setting up. Seems my timetelling skills need some brushing up.
Back to the Dominion! More Comix! Now time to go back for reals! The madcap life of a theatre blogger never ends, and soon enough I was back in AC proper, and this time I wasn’t the only one. Plenty of local bigshots and superstars were out for the gala festivities…spotted Brad Long, Andy Massingham and Alix Sideris, apparently on a night off from the fantabulous TWELFTH NIGHT (seen it yet? Come ON!). Miss Emily Pearlman was there, and thru her I finally got to meet Kate Smith, after much geeky gushing over her acting chops here in the chud (AIRPORT SECURITY and TURN OF THE SCREW, represent!). Chatted with them, and tweedy old Snowdon, and mister Al Connors, and I was feelin’ pretty fine by now (did I mention they had a bar here too?). The crowd was good’n’merry when the core of Evolution Theatre got things underway.
Evo’s heart and soul consist of Chris and Linda Bedford, and the lovely FamousActressNancyKenny, who formed the company five years ago with their first show, Dario Fo’s WE WON’T PAY! WE WON’T PAY! Tonite we were to be treated to a staged reading of that very play, starring not only original cast member Nancy K, but Chris Bedford, David Scott, Zach Counsil, and my old friend Kate Smith (it had been a few minutes by this time since I met her, I can call her that now, right?)! I nabbed a front row seat in the AC studio, and the gang got to work. The show, even if it WAS ‘just’ a reading, was a big hit with everyone…Nancy and Kate had most of us in stitches with some swift comic goodness. Counsil and Bedford were equally stellar as deadpan straight men in Fo’s subversive script, with multiple funnybone assaults by David Scott in a performance that will make you believe a man can give birth. I wish I could’a seen this one back in the day as a full-on production..! As it stands, my only real Evolution gigs thus far have been THIS IS A PLAY (More Nancy Kenny) at the ’08 fringe, and last year’s ARABIAN NIGHT (yet more Kate Smith!). However, as befits a proper party, some good news awaited.
After the show and the cutting of Linda Bedford’s delicious cake, the gang made their ultra-special announcements: Namely, that the company had been picked as one of three new resident companies right there at Arts Court, guaranteeing them 2 new shows a year for at least two years (as I understood it, correct me someone if I’m remembering wrong), and guaranteeing Ottawa more shit-cool new theatre for approximately the same length of time (no coincidence).
I thought this good news indeed, as did one and all, and the party broke up into…well, a party at that point. I kept right on drinking, because the cash bar benefitted the company, and I like to do my part.
Finally managed to corner Nancy K, and show here some new snaps of Winston the Cat, including one of him enjoying his spankin’ new cat carrier Xmas present, since it looks like he’ll be coming to my folks’ place in Kemptville with me for the holidays. I smell a sitcom..!
Reassured that Winston was still safely in charge of things, Nancy continued to do her Evolution thing with Chris and Linda, and I eventually made my weary way home, for work awaited the next day. Also awaiting, it turned out, was more dessert…the next day at work my chum Emma stopped by, and it turns out she works in a bakery as well ass the GCTC, and she brought me a gorgeous little birthday cake. It had my name on it and everything!
So Evolution Theatre, I think, had a happy birthday, and a heartfelt YAY! for them…they deserve it. Myself? Well, I saw a good show, met cool people, talked, read comix, got hugs from one pretty girl and cake from another. Yeah. I’m calling it a win for me too. Whether I deserve it or not I’ll leave to wiser minds than mine. In the meantime, I’ve got a year-end roundup to brainstorm, days off to fill with something other than horror and despair, and a couple more issues of MARS PATROL: TOTAL WAR to get through. So peace, love and soul to you all,
The Visitor (and Winston)