Gee criminy, but it feels like it’s been forever since I used this bloggy-thing. It’s been as inert as a carbon rod since the end of the Ottawa Fringe Festival, and to be honest I’ve only been half-wanting to get it started back up again. Loved the Fringe of course, but blogging for it this time around felt oddly unsatisfying. Plus, I’m starting to get the idea that I’m moving too far into the ‘spectator’ spectrum on this whole theatre bizness. People really do seem to be thinking of me as ‘media’…and I’m not at all convinced that’s a good thing.
But, a new show is a new show, am I right? And since my life since the Fringe has consisted of sitting at home getting tipsy while Winston the Cat looks on disapprovingly. So, with a hopeful spring in my dilapidated step, it was off to the newly-renovation-approved Arts Court for the start of this year’s bigger SUMMER FLING series, with the premiere of Kathleen Clark’s SECRETS OF A SOCCER MOM. And can I say, it was very good medicine indeed to get out and about with some theatrical folk after this little drought. Seeing Wayne C, Rich Hemphill, Kyla Gray, Pat Gauthier, Emily Pearlman and others milling about the AC lobby did my poor wee heart a world of good. I had definitely missed this.
Headed on inside to the lovely wisps of fake theatrical fog I dig so much, and a minimal set in three parts, one for each of the main actresses about to take the stage. Tania Levy, Kate Smith, and Maureen Smith, all looking fabulous, and all revving on hi-octane fuel for this peppy story of a trio of Moms playing in a mother/son soccer outing. Naturally, most of the exciting stuff happens on the sidelines, and after a funky dance intro that had me smiling so much I coulda cried, the match was ON.
Kate Smith (finally back after THE TURN OF THE SCREW) plays Alison, a competitive, athletic Mom looking to take a break from her life. Maureen Smith (who I haven’t seen since my fun front-house stint with THE LAVENDER RAILROAD) is Nancy, a seemingly aloof former model with issues of her own bubbling beneath the surface. And Tania Levy (fresh off a heroic gig directing Fringe hit ROLLER DERBY SAVED MY SOUL) is Lynn, a seeming supermom juggling a dozen community efforts at the same time. Director Kate Hurman balances a lot of good physical action and humour against the occasionally lengthy bits of dialogue. Most of it is nice, witty stuff…a few zingers I’m sure will be getting the biggest laughs from fellow Moms in the audience. And the dramatic shifts are all handled beautifully by the gang, even if they could sometimes get a bit much…we know you love your kids, ladies, you can stop telling us ANYtime. Sheesh. Mothers, am I right..?
Anyways. SECRETS OF A SOCCER MOM is a perfect bit of summer fun for THIS lad, and had me feeling like a million bucks when I left the theatre. Kudos to Arts Court for kicking the fling off with such a fun piece, showcasing three amazing actresses and bringing us along on their dynamic journey onstage. Tania, Kate and Maureen are my fav’rit trio since, well, THE HEROIC TRIO.
Had a bit of post-show palaver with Miss Levy and others before I skipped on out for home, supposedly two write this post, but more realistically to go to sleep and put this post off until tomorrow. Which is now, so here it is! Thanks for the good times, ladies, and I look forward to more fun flinging in the weeks to come. Peace, love and soul,