UnderCurrents – My First Day

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)

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