Roller Derby Saved my Soul (Redux)

First off, I should apologize to the good folks at Odyssey Theatre.  I had totally publicly stated, via the always-trustworthy avenues of both Facebook AND Twitter, that I would be heading out to their show at Strathcona park this fine evening.  And I left the house with every such intention, I promise you all.  But, well, the wind was picking up, and dark clouds were moving ominously in over the skies, and no, that’s NOT a metaphor for my rapidly deteriorating mental state, it’s actual weather that you could see with your face and everything!

You can see them, right? Oh, God, tell me you can see them too!

So, long story, I chickened out ’cause I thought it was gonna rain on my outdoor theatrical parade, and ducked for cover elsewhere.  Sorry, Odyssey, I’ll get you back.

However, there was a helluva silver lining to that ominous cloud, and I found it at good old Arts Court, where the Summer fling event was still ongoing, with tonight featuring the debut of their brand-new FRINGE BENEFITS feature.  The idea s a simple one…take a couple of shows from June’s Ottawa Fringe Festival, give’em a snazzy remount in Arts court for a few shows, and Bob’s your Uncle.  A nice idea far as I’m concerned, and they couldn’t have made a better choice for the inaugural show.  That choice was Nancy Kenny’s ROLLER DERBY SAVED MY SOUL, and I’ll admit, I wasn’t upset at all about diverting inside for its return engagement (I was planning on catching it tomorrow anyhow).

Pic courtesy of Andrew Alexander

Fresh from a smash run at Ottawa’s Fringe (earning an extra Best-of-Venue show in the process) AND a last-minute run at the Hamilton Fringe, DERBY is still growing, changing and entertaining, and even if you did catch it at the Fringe, there’s enough new and improved to warrant the trip back.  My original review is way back here, and while I don’t have too much to add to that, I will say that the additions to the show by Nancy (abetted as before by director Tania Levy, Stage Manager/Sound designer Nick Alain and Choreographer Heather MacDonald), are welcome indeed.  From the inclusion of an almost-set (but still Fringe..!) to a segment explaining the finer points of Derby to the newbies in the audience, small changes that still add to the already very fun show.  Awkward heroine Amy is still adorable, tough sister June is still laugh-out-loud inappropriate, and Nancy makes a funnier drunk every time I see this show.

And okay,okay,  that’s three viewings now for me…I’m becoming a RDSMS fanboy, I admit it.  If I see it one more time, I promise I will wear a Green Lantern tee-shirt under a vest just to see what happens.  If that doesn’t make any sense to you, you have two more chances to find out…DERBY plays tomorrow and Saturday night at 8 pm, for the silly low price of 12 bucks.  Arts Court, baby, be there (and next week, too, when PLAYING FOR ADVANTAGE finishes off the Fringe Benefits double-bill).

That’s it for me…hopefully I’ll be back soon with some Odyssey overdue goodness, some Gladstone tidings, and then maybe something about some Fringe Festival I may be hitting up before too long.  Peace, love and soul, Ottawa,

The Visitor (and Winston)


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