A few days late with this posting…blame a hectic work schedule, local punk-rock killers THE UNCOOPERATIVES, and the long-awaited Evolution Theatre Wrap Party for THE LAVENDER RAILROAD. I’m happy to say that I got through the heat of the kitchen, avoided bruising my ribs in the mosh pit this time, AND my Greek-style lasagna was a hit. Also, Joel and Lawrence have a sweet, sweet pad.
But somewhere in the midst of all that was another volunteer shift for me at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, where their final production of the 2010/11 season is now underway. And not just any production, but Daniel MacIvor’s latest, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. Now, Daniel is a bit of a legend in the National playwrighting scene…your average Canadian Fringe Festival usually consists of approximately 60% MacIvor plays (NOTE: This is an exaggeration), and he’s frequently named as favourite writer in theatrical circles. Myself, I’ve caught four of his works before this…HOUSE, WILD ABANDON, YOU ARE HERE and THIS IS A PLAY. All gooders, so I was certainly looking forward to his latest…and he’d be performing it himself! I love me a one person show, and from what I hear, Danny Mac rewrote the book on them.
After performing my own program-handing duties for the evening, I settled in to my seat and waited…the stage was flanked by a lighting rig that made it look like a boxing ring, with a few minimal props awaiting. And at last, Daniel entered…an entrance designed to make us like him, endear him to us, make us WANT to root for him. And it worked like a charm. After a charming opening, things started to take shape. A story was outlined, strange sounds began rising ominously in the background, Daniel got a little uneasy up there…and then we met Will, and things really took off.
MavIvor plays six or seven distinct characters in this semi-autobiographical piece that’s intimate, funny and larger-than-life all at once. His characters, from a world-weary single Mom Lawyer to a hyperimaginative child named Kevin (who, like me, enjoys himself some LITTLE MERMAID…nothing wrong with that, Kev!) are engaging, tragic, hilarious, you name it, and MacIvor slips them on and off with the ease of a master. It’s easy to see, watching this play, why people revere him as they do. He’s earned it. 90 minutes straight thru, and Daniel had us right where he wanted us the entire time. For those of you who haven’t heard of him before now, this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself. A wonderful work from a perfectly delightful genius.
Also, there’s a giant. It’s really cool.
That’s it for me, for now…this is probably my last post of the year. So Peace, love and soul to all,and see you next year,
The Visitor (and Winston)