Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

Undercurrents – My Second Day

In GCTC, Theatre, Undercurrents on January 30, 2011 at 4:50 am

Had a down day yester, watched me some movies to try and catch up on my already way behind attempt at 211 movies in 2011.  Did PUFNSTUF from 1970, the movie that introduced the mad genius of Sid and Marty Krofft to the world, thus creating a good part of my original childhood (as opposed to my NEW childhood, which I’m still working on) and last years RUNAWAYS about the classic 70’s all-girl rock band.  Which is one reason why I’m listening to the Runaways as I write this.

This is the other reason.

So tonite was my second nite of UNDERCURRENTS at the GCTC this week, and Dang, I’m already getting frustrated that it’s gonna be over so soon.  I know, I know, I’m  a spoiled fuck, but I just loves it so much!  Although as I arrived tonite around 8-ish for my 9 pm start, I discovered the first chink in the undercurrents armour…the bar wasn’t open!  But…but we had such a good TIME on Thursday nite!  Aren’t we doing that again tonite?  I had it all planned OUT, and…and…

Oh, never mind.  I’m likely just a bitter alcoholic, and there ARE bars in the vicinity.  Still.  I was thirsty, alright?  Don’t judge me.

Luckily, where spirits were lacking, good company was in great abundance.  Smooth Tim Oberholzer was on hand, pulling a trifecta of shows this day along with Ken ‘the God’ Godmere.  Wayne C and Nadine Thornhill were on hand, along with the usual ‘the Lab’ crew, many of whom are annoyingly persistent and distressingly cute.  I assume their studies are proceeding smoothly and producing squinky results.

The show let in, my only show for the day, HARD WAYS by and starring one Jason Cadieux.   You know I love me a one man show, and fuck me, did I love this show.  Within about the first two minutes Jason let us know that he would have no trouble keeping the room in his thrall.  Set in a sparse room at border control, Jason addresses unseen captors through glass to tell his story, slowly and with increasing intensity.  Why did he have all that money on him at the border, where did he get it, what’s with the towel and the dice, and why is it so hot in here..?

Hard Ways is an atom bomb to the gut, and there’s only one thing that pissed me off about it…it wasn’ t sold out.  There’s one more show tomorrow at 1pm, and if I weren’t working I would absolutely be there to catch it again.  I’m still trying to talk myself into faking a hysterical pregnancy to get out of brunch duty.  I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, if you haven’t gone and have the time, fucking GO!!

Big thanks to the Undercurrents overlords for bringing this show to us, and putting this Jason Cadieux cat on my radar.  It’s a good name to know.  I’ll see you all back at UC next week…I’ll be there on Thursday and Saturday once again.  If the first week is any indication, we’re in for a killer good time. Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

UnderCurrents – My First Day

In GCTC, Theatre, Undercurrents on January 29, 2011 at 12:35 am

It’s almost 1:30 am, I just got home, and I’m trying to force myself to drunkenly write about several shows I saw tonite before I pass out.  Is it June already?

No, Virginia, Fringe is not here yet, but UNDERCURRENTS, our new little Winter mini-Fringe, is!  It started yesterday, but tonite was my own first experience with it, catching both shows on the docket for the evening.  And thanks again to Pat Gauthier, Lise Ann Johnson and the GCTC for getting this shindig into gear.  I hope it’s both annual AND exponentially growing!

After having a beer, avoiding the odd ‘The Lab’ people for a while (the what?), and saying a happy hello to Nancy Kenny (who I always happily say hello to when I get the chance), I filed in for the first of two shows for the evening, the world premiere of BIFURCATE ME from Theatre 4.669.  Created by Andy Massingham, Kevin Orr and Julie leGal, and starring Andy and Julie, this is a very non-traditional piece of theatre.    Combining the complexity of advanced mathematical formulations with pratfalls, spit-takes, language barriers and magic tricks, Bifurcate Me may be the most original love story I’ve ever seen.  It’s exciting, risky theatre, painful to watch at times (because they MUST be hurting themselves up there), and very rewarding if you do.  Wicked fun stuff.  And seriously, they fall a LOT.

Breaktime then, and we got out just as the premiere show of STRAWBERRIES IN JANUARY was starting up downstairs.  Busy days at the GCTC, you bet.  This time I was unable to sneak past the ‘The Lab’ people, and got sucked into their little theatre experiment goings-on.  And while writing an  essay wasn’t exactly what  I had in mind that evening, I’ll assume that they have SOMEthing interesting in store for all this.  There are video booths and a craft table too, so good funs for whatever yer tastes.  MY taste was running to beer, so I split the Lab ASAP  after half-arsedly finishing my homework assignment and downed a couple, swapping Winston stories with Nancy and trying to meet a few new peeps.  There was definitely a cool buzz in the air there.  Good times.

Pretty soon it was showtime again, so back into the studio for the triumphant return of Fringe monster SHADOWS with Margo MacDonald and Sarah Finn.  It was great to see this beauty of a show again, the tale of troubled acting legend Eva LaGallienne and her protoge, lover and ‘shadow’ Josephine.  We watch them meet, fall in love, seduce, fight, cheat, self-destruct, and not necessarily in that order.  The magical snippets of their on-stage performances (in such plays as PETER PAN and ALICE IN WONDERLAND) beautifully underscore the romance and tragedy of their time together.  Margo Mac and Sarah Finn are positively radiant, owning their every moment on stage together.  If you missed THIS sold-out run, never fear.  I’m confident we still haven’t seen the last of this show.

SHADOWS is somehow even more awesome than this promo image, shattering previously held records in the field of awesomeology.

Any excuse to show this picture again…Andrew Alexander, photographer.

That was it for the playtime, and now it was time to play.  The after party in the grand GCTC foyer went long, and I got to chat up many awesome superstars.  Seriously, I got to meet Sarah Finn, Annie Lefebvre, Sarah (not Sophie) McVie…caught up with Tania Levy, Emily Pearlman, Kevin Falkingham…very, very cool.  And then, after too many drinks, when I really SHOULD have hopped on a bus and headed home, me, Tweedy Snowdon and a gang of fun rabble-rousers (including STRAWBERRIES ASM Louisa Hache, and many people not called Troy) skipped out to the Carleton to drink quarts of 50 ’til 1 AM, at which point I cabbed home, wrote about half of this post and snuggled with Winston the Cat then passed out.  Man, I’m outta shape.  I’ll never SURVIVE Fringe this year at this rate…thank God I’ve got more Undercurrents to practice on.  See you all on Saturday (hopefully) for HARD WAYS, which I hear is fantastic.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

Second Class, Level 2 – Here there be Dinosaurs

In OSSD Acting Class on January 27, 2011 at 4:47 am

Starting to feel like a proper Visitor again…got to see some GCTC over the last few days, got the giddily anticipated UNDERCURRENTS festival to hit in the next few, and wednesdays are class days again!  All is, at least momentarily, well.  I poked about a little during the day…got the last issue of Buffy season 8, and a sweet new copy of the Grant Morrison documentary I’m going to watch as soon as I finish writing this post, so let’s get this over with, whaddaya say?

Hit the OSSD for level 2 acting class number 2 after a spot of reading and some tasty beef patties from the Piggy Market down the road.  Never hurts to prepare!  There were nine of us again today, with Justin being mysteriously absent (J!  What up with dat??), but last level classmate Rachel making her slightly late return.  Big Cheese Brie Barker ushered us in, and we made introductions again, this time with some alliterative theatricality added on for fun.  That led into about 20 minutes of games, some centering around all our names, and getting increasingly tricky as we went.  Looking at someone, and deliberatley saying someone ELSE’S name, it turns out, is extremely difficult.

The games culminated with a bizarre game of ‘band-aid tag’ that had most of us panting for breath, and Brie sent us on a circular walkabout to shake it off.  Then, as we walked, he narrated a little story, which we all had to act out on our own sans sound.  The story, an odd tale about a prince named Hector, a talking cricket, and playing with fire, was a positive joy to act out.  I was totally getting into it, and was a little sad it didn’t go on for the whole class.

however, this excercize did lead Brie into our final big push for the nite…splitting us into teams of 3 and assigning us the task of creating and performing a five-minute-ish fairy tale all our own.  I got hooked up with Vanessa and Daria, who were positively THRILLED with my suggestion that we do something about dinosaurs and cavemen.  Thrilled, I tell you!  Well, they refrained from striking me, which I thank them for.  What can I say?   I’m a  little kid at heart, and still think dinosaurs are cool.  They’re lucky I didn’t bring Batman into it.

But creative differences aside, I think we put on a pretty entertaining little show about a stalwart cavewoman, tracking her dinosaur-kidnapped mate through the tundra.  Daria certainly threw herself into her multiple roles of caveman, wind, rain and wolf (again, sorry ladies!).  The other groups were rock-solid as well, with a dark supernatural tale of crime and punishment balancing a fluffy love story between a leprechaun and a pixie.  Then Brie had us redo each of our scenes, but in only a minute.  Then, fifteen seconds…you get the idea.  And boy, you learn quickly how to strip your story down to the bare essentials, a rather valuable eye-opener.

We finished with another walkabout,each taking one physical aspect from our respective characters in the shows, paring it down, and committing it to memory.  It turns out we’ll be slowly building a character, each of us, over the run of the course, then letting him/her out to play with others.  It sounds exciting, and I think I officially like the way Brie Barker thinks.

I lingered a bit too long after class…finally gave the Big Cheese that hello Nancy Kenny asked me to pass on a while back, then promptly had a panic moment where I couldn’t find my keys.  Eventually discovered them and had a nice walk back to my bus stop….fuck me, but it got mild out!  Almost stopped in at GCTC, but opted to save it for tomorrow when I have my first UNDERCURRENTS 2-bill night.  Can’t hardly wait, yo!

And that’s all I wrote tonite…off to expand my mind with a little Grant M.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

Strawberries for Dinner

In GCTC on January 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm

You know what?  I don’t give a damn if it IS arctic outside, the snow is falling, the testicles are freezing, whatever.  I’m in a good mood.  I’ve got my class going on again, I just got my first ever comp ticket for a show (I don’t know if I’m gonna use it…I think I’d feel bad not paying.  But it’s still awesome to get one!), and there’s some sweet blasted theatre finally shaking off the winter blahs and getting under way.  And you know yours truly was there to greet it!

Actually, it looks like I’m going to be pretty freaking busy with shows for the next few weeks, which is a great problem to have, but it also means I can’t slack off too much on these postings or I’ll get logjammed but good.  So with that spirit of desperate industriousness urging me on, let’s get right to it.  And you can’t accuse me of not getting into the swing of things with gusto, having just seen the same new show twice in three days.  Specifically, the dress rehearsal and preview premiere of Evelyne de la Cheneliere’s STRAWBERRIES IN JANUARY at the GCTC.  I was especially giddy to have been able to bring two of my fellow OSSD students to the dress, and happily they seemed to like it just as much as I did.

Right away there’s a smokin’ cool retro-style set on the stage (Robin Fisher shoutout!), adorned with posters for some of the great rom-coms of all time.  Comparing your show straightaway to the likes of SOME LIKE IT HOT?  A bold move, GCTC.  But you know who else was bold, once upon a time?  A young man named James Tiberius Kirk, that’s who.

And you don’t get to sit in that chair without taking some risks, bitches.

STRAWBERRIES is billed as a ‘fizzy, delightful comedy’, and that’s a pretty sharp descriptor.  Directed with a smooth tough by GCTC King Lise Ann Johnson, and stacked with a sweet cast:  Pierre Simpson, and Annie Lefebvre, who I can’t believe I’ve never seen in anything before now.  I know, right?  I’m a fucking awful person, you’re so right for thinking that about me!  But at least I’m familiar with the other pair, namely John ‘Killer’ Koensgen and Sarah McVie, who among other awesomeness co-starred together in last year’s Summer Fling production of EDUCATING RITA.  It’s a Rita-Union!

…Okay, wait, I can do better.  Don’t leave yet.

The play is structured around Simpson’s Francois, a young coffee shop underachiever in the constant act of rewriting his life into a more pleasing movie version of itself.  In fact, most of the characters spend an inordinate amount of time lying to themselves and others…not out of malice, so much as not having yet figured out anything better.  Francois is nuts about flaky Sophie, who Sarah McVie brings to hilarious life.  She’s sharp, self-centered, a little delusional and absolutely adorable.  Her Far Side moment is pure gold.

Koensgen plays Robert, a French Lit Professor with some rather open contempt for his students (his rant to them is the first Oscar moment in Ottawa Theatre for 2011), a shallow-sounding approach to relationships, and some secrets of his own.  One of them centers around Lea, a spirited Innkeeper he has a chance encounter with, and who later makes her own unintentional impact on everyone’s lives.  Played with love and honesty by Lefebvre, Lea is totally the moral heart of STRAWBERRIES.  Her scenes are touching , funny, and a little bit painful. It’s really quite marvelous to watch.

All of this is put together smartly by Johnson…the translation by playwright Morwyn Brebner is crisp and funny, and Cheneliere’s wicked humour shines through.  And can I just take a moment to point out the lighting by GCTC mainstay (and awesomely named) Jock Munro?  I’ve seen his work a dozen times, and he’s spot on every single time, and I never mention him, and shame on me.  So here’s to you, Jocko. You do great work, you know that?  It’s appreciated.

Yes, STRAWBERRIES IN JANUARY is fizzy, and delightful, and romantic, all of that.  It’s a perfect show for right now, give ya all those warm fuzzies that nature otherwise is being a little stingy with.  Personally, I’m happy I managed to sneak it in before UNDERCURRENTS gets underway…which would be tonite, for those of you not paying attention.  I’ll be at class, but I’m catching shows on both Thursdays and Saturdays of the festival, so I hopefully will see some of you out there. And at everything ELSE that’s going on very soon, but more on that later.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

First Class, level 2 – It’s a Beautiful Day

In OSSD Acting Class on January 20, 2011 at 9:24 pm

The slow times continue, as local theatre creeps into the new year and I continue to wallow in grim lethargy.  Twitter continues to annoy me even as I awkwardly try and get it to be of any goddamned use.   Add to that a recent crush of mine blowing up rather painfully in my face (note to self: stop nursing crushes, that’s not what you’re supposed to DO with them), and yours truly was in need of a good pick-me-up.  Which leads me to type words I never could have seen coming…thank God for school.

Yes, yesterday was day one of my continued foray into pretending to be actorlike, courtesy of the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama.  Having completed their level one ten-week course back in November, it was time for the winter semester and level 2 to begin at long last.  Keeping up my trend from last time, I got there way too early (but not early enough to go for a coffee).  Happily, my coach from level one, Boss Barry Karp, was there to engage in some friendly palaver.  He’s moving on to coach level three this semester, and from the collection of padded floormats he was in the process of collecting, I could see they were in for a rather epic workout, bless him (side note: Anyone know who’s teaching level one this semester?  Just curious.)

Soon enough, some of my old classmates started making their way in as our time drew near to begin again.  All told, with a couple of absentees for opening day, my old mates Catherine, Stefan, Vanessa and Justin were back, with newcomers Andrea, Sasha, Daria and Julie thrown into the mix.  The boys now woefully outnumbered, we settled in and met our new instructor, gentleman Brie Barker.  The head of local Sanitas Playback Theatre, and looking like he just stepped out of a Norman Rockwell painting, he was an immediately likable cat, joking and easing us all into the new semester.

After making intros, we got into a little walking character piece, where we had to pick a profession, and slowly move about, amplifying the physical characteristics of engaging in said occupation for forty years.  I ended up being a very claw-fisted and jumpy old bartender.  We moved right into a game of Park Bench, where at first we just took turns walking up to and sitting on our pretend bench, then walking away.  We repeated the game, adding a physical component…I pulled a classic limp out of my bag of tricks, and the coach seemed to dig that, doing a few riffs on it himself to show how much little tweaks could change the projection of a character.

After that we added a little dialogue to the evening, starting with the just-challenging enough ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’.  It was fairly cool…we went in a circle, each doing the line with some different physical characteristic, and seeing if everyone else ‘got’ what we were going for, or at least what impressions they DID get out of it.  My predicatbly sullen reading seemed to work decently enough.

Back to the park bench, with the line ‘Hey how’s it going’ this time, and instructions to let as loose as we wished with the physicality this time.  And how often do you get permission like that in this life?  I quickly reverted to my base ‘gorilla-mode’ and shouted the line as loud as I could.  It made people laugh, and that was a nice thing.

We went walkabout again then, Brie shouting out different scenarios for us to embody as we walked…is it sad that when he yelled ‘I’ve been lonely my whole life’, I just reverted to my normal walk?   Yeah, okay, maybe a little bit.  Sorry internet, didn’t mean to bring ya down!  I’ll try harder.

Anyhoo, we finished back in our seated circle, embodying a few more scenarios that the Big Cheese walked us through…and yes, I’m calling Brie ‘the Big Cheese’.  Unoriginal, I know, but for God’s sake, the man is named after a delicious soft cheese!  Some things are bigger than me, folks, so the Big Cheese it is.

Not to be confused with you-know-who.

When the excercize was over we stayed put and had a nice little palaver about acting, physicality, character, and how sucky Keanu Reeves is (sorry Daria).  All told it was a good darn class, and I’m pretty relieved to have it back in my wee life.  Invited my fellow classmates out to the upcoming dress rehearsal for STRAWBERRIES IN JANUARY at the GCTC this Sunday afterwards, and got a couple of takers.  So there’s that coming up, as well as a pretty jam-packed first half of February.  Hope to see some of you fiends out and about at the theatre, especially UNDERCURRENTS, coming up and selling out fast!  Peace, love and soul, and see you next class,

The Visitor (and Winston)

A Magical Year (in 90 Minutes)

In Theatre on January 14, 2011 at 3:49 am

I was having a pretty grim day today, I’ll be honest.  I felt terrible, wasn’t getting any of my chores done, and I’m already falling behind of my 211 in 2011 movie viewing goal.  Goddamned motherfucking LOST, I had to get sucked in to that NOW?  *sigh* Only two seasons to go, only two seasons to go…

At least I had theatre tickets for tonite, said I, and managed to rouse myself out of the house and downtown in advance of the show.  A quick stop at Arts Court first, to pick up a ticket for next month’s LITTLE MARTYRS from Evolution theatre.  The dude at the counter even reads the blog, which is terribly awesome.  Thanks again, and hopefully someone, y’know, actually puts the show information into your computer soon.

Stopped in at HMV then, and was delighted to find Louis CK’s new performance film HILARIOUS for cheap, along with a collection of Krofft Saturday Morning shows (the cultural peak of the 20th century, as everyone knows).  Now not only did I have theatre to see, but fun stuff to watch when I got back home.  I wonder if  Winston digs THE BUGALOOS?

Silly question, really. What's not to love?

But theatre came first, so with my swag in tow I hotfooted it to the NAC for the preview show of Joan Didion’s autobiographical THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING.  A production of Victoria’s Belfry theatre, directed by their own Michael Shamata, and starring Seana McKenna, a veteran actress who has apparently been pretty much owning Stratford for most of her illustrious career.  Sounded good.  I stepped in to the building, remembering too late as always what a swanky joint the NAC is, and that I was unshaved, wearing a dusty backpack, filthy black hoodie…everyone else was all poshed up for an elegant night at the theatre, I looked like I was there to fucking rob the place.  The fact I was not escorted from the premises immediately speaks well to the charitable mindset of NAC security.  Thanks, folks.

Tonite was a preview show, which means general admission, which means Yay! I get to dash in and snag a front row seat!  And I hope it’s kosher that I’m writing this based on a preview, but that’s what’s gonna happen, because I’m not paying to see it again.  Not that it ain’t worth it.

As a play, Didion’s story reminded me an awful lot of THE LIST a few months back at the GCTC.  Very much a monologue with few overt theatrics, some interesting set work (although I admit I didn’t quite ‘get’ what they were going for on this one, but I AM notoriously stoopid), extremely methodical women in the lead, and the subject matter…well, let’s just say my morning mood wasn’t the only grim thing in town this day.  Based on a year in Didion’s life that she’d likely rather forget, McKenna leads us through the story of death, denial, desperation, and that most impossible of animals, grief.  But it’s not a complete weeper, neither…the script is peppered with wonderful humour, and Seana can snatch laughs from the audience pretty much at will.  And when the moments of despair eventually do turn up, there’s no break, no discontinuity, just a solid punch to the gut.  It’s a play that absolutely would not work without a great actor in the lead.  And it works.

Odd that a play about dealing with death and loss would cheer me up, but that’s what good theatre does for me…so thank you, Joan and Seana, for that.  Although I won’t be saying no to my Louis CK disc when I’m done with this post…a few good hearty laughs will do me good right about now.  And you lot, get out and go see a master at work while we have her in town.  It’ll do you good, too.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

Hazel, Queen of Fools

In Company of Fools on January 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

So it looks like my half-bottle-of-whiskey cold remedy paid off, because I was feeling quite a bit better when I woke up yesterday.  Fuck you, years of medical science!  Drunken home remedies ARE best!

No one EVER gets sick in Kentucky.

So with a little more of my wits about me than I’ve had lately, I hit the NAC 4th stage, all rearranged and redecorated, for the annual TWELFTH NIGHT FUNDRAISER for Ottawa’s beloved Company of Fools.  There was what looked to me like a sellout crowd, snacks for the taking (oh, and I took..!), and of course, Smooth Tim Oberholzer (is this what it’s like when people see ME everywhere?).  I managed an invite to his table, my first ever tableside seating at the 4th, so that was pretty cool.  Met some fine folks, Neil and Maria if memory serves, while listening to a talented gent on guitar whose name sadly DOES escape me.  If someone wants to drop a line with his name so I can give the lad his due, I’d be much obliged. *ETA – the lad on gee-tar was one Greg Stone, thank you to master fool Scott Florence for the info.

Soon enough the Fools themselves, Al Connors and Scott Florence took the stage to get the shenanigans underway.  It was just the two of them because longtime fool Emmanuelle Zeesman (yay!) is leaving us for Toronto (boo!). Seriously, TO, stop poaching our cute actresses.  How about Lowell Green, you want Lowell Green?  You can goddamned well HAVE him!  I’ll even throw in Randall Moore and Earl McRae…it’s a fire sale on curmudgeons!

But anyway.  The first bit of entertainment was the Fools’ 1/12th of 12th Night, featuring Al, Scott, Emmanuelle, Richard Gelinas, Dan Lajoie, Katie Ryerson, David Hersh, Brad Long and David Whitely.  How’s that for a sweet lineup?  And the gang delivered as usual, funny, fast, a little bit sexy, and 50% more rubber chickens than your average production of Shakespeare.

After a halftime break (with cake!) the fools came back with a look at their 2011 season…after crowning lovely young Hazel as their new Queen (it all makes sense, folks), Al and Scott set about getting help from the audience to write a fifteen-minute sonnet in her honour, to promote their ‘Sweets and Sonnets Delivery‘ for valentine’s day.  Yes, you can hire a fool to personally deliver a sonnet to your extremely embarrassed significant other on that special day.  I wonder if Winston likes shakespeare…?

A quick bout of improv followed, to promote the upcoming Ottawa Theatre Challenge on March 26th.   Brad MacNeil led the team of Dan Lajoie, Joel  Garrow and Jordan Moffat ( I think that’s right…anyone?) in a quick game of foursquare, which was dandy fun.   Followed by a taster of Shakespeare’s Interactive Circus, soon to be touring schools across the land, end finally a sneak peek of the Fool’s major show touring parks in July, ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.  The cast has yet to be finalized, but Richard Gelinas, Brad Long, Katie Ryerson and a couple of ‘willing volunteers’ from the audience helped give us a hilarious glimpse at what to expect.  Last year’s show, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, was one of my fav’rit of 2010, so look forward to this one.

Other tidbits were hinted at, but no details for anyone yet.  The Fools finished off with a bout of tag-team Taming of the Shrew and the promise of what looks to be a great year for them.  I’m still a little bummed about not winning the life-size poster of Emmanuelle Zeesman in the raffle, but you can’t have everything, I suppose.  I DID get to meet Brad Long at last, and he likes this blog!  I feel all special.  Although there’s still a bit of a dry spell theatre-wise for the next couple of weeks, so I might have to find other things to blather about in the meantime. Perhaps some movie reviews from my 211 in 2011 campaign, which is only at 3 flix so far, but I may do a triple bill today.  Hurray for sitting at home doing nothing all day!  Don’t frown, Winston wholeheartedly approves.  So adieu, Fools, until we meet again.   Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

Crush Monday – round one

In Improv on January 5, 2011 at 4:27 am

Phooey on being sick.  I is sick of it, I say!   Odd that the last time i fell ill, was also the last time I ‘enjoyed’ some spare time.  It’s official…I’m allergic to time off.  Happily, as I write this, I am well into my plan to cure myself, with the help of my good friend Jameson.  By tomorrow morning, I vow, either myself or this flu will be dead.  Feel free to root for your fav’rit.

Anyhow, despite my rampaging grossness, I still dragged myself out to the Elmdale Tavern last nite for some CRUSH IMPROV, as they kicked off their new regular gig of ‘Bout Time Improv slugfests.  It may not have been a good idea on my part, woozy as I was, and I did my best to quarantine myself at the back.  But then a couple of cool things happened.  First, Crush managed to pretty much pack the place on the first Monday after new year’s, so huzzah for that!  A dandy way to inaugurate the event, says I.  And second, people I know started to show up, and even more bizarrely, sat with me!  In fact, I probably wasn’t even going to post about this, but Oberholzer’s already gone and got HIS post up, and I refuse to be outdone.

Anyhoo, smooth Tim O and I chatted for a spell about theatre and all sorts of similar posh nonsense, others wandered in and enjoyed their Elmdale pints and quarts like God intended, afore emcee Brad MacNeil got the night’s fisticuffs underway.  Starting a new round robin-stylee twist to the event, previous winners Grimprov (with new team member Mike Kosowan, the scene-stealin’ pope from RED NOSES) squared off against Crush homers The Neighbourhood (with Al Connors subbing in for Ken ‘the God’ Godmere).  Format remained the same…a first half of quick improv games, leading to a final long scene from each team.  But the ‘rules’ are really just window dressing for the meat of the matter…a good night of sweet, sweet improv fun.  And that’s what we got… there was a particularly swell game using someone’s twitter feed as dialogue, and Cari Leslie’s blind gay hobo was the highlight of the nite for me.  Well, that, and being joined at the table by the ubiquitous Nancy Kenny.  That was a treat too, even if I was too woozy to join everyone for pizza afterwards.  Next time!
…and by ‘next time’, I DO mean the first monday in February, when the Crush gang returns for The Neighbourhood (the winners of last nite’s round) to defend their title against a new team.  I’ll be there fo sho.  ‘Cause it’s fun!  Good enough reason, yeah?  And hopefully next time, I’ll be well enough to get into the pickled eggs.  Fingers crossed!  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

PS: 211 in 2011 update:  We’re four days into the new year, and I’m two movies in…1968’s spaghetti western RUN MAN RUN, and 1975’s Corman classic DEATH RACE 2000.  Both get thumbs up from me.