May, Can, Do!

Last week (late again, I know, I KNOW…) was a very special weekend here in the Ottawa theatre community, you bet.   That’s because it was the second anniversary of that little theatre company that could, MAY CAN THEATRE.  The high-powered mutant offspring of local boys Cory Thibert and Tony Adams, May Can is fresh from a cracking good first run at the Ottawa Fringe Festival with their sleeper hit SOUNDS FROM THE TURTLE SHELL (along with chanteuse extraordinaire Erin Lindsay), though I’d seen them previously in their killer production of MacIvor’s YOU ARE HERE, and the delightfully insane DANGER PROJECT at Avant Garde.  Basically, the May Can gang are talented, fun and raring to go, and for a couple of days at Cafe Alt on the Ottawa U campus, they celebrated like theatre people do…with more theatre (and cheap beer).

The party, given the fairly accurate title of MAYHEM WITH MAY CAN, featured a two-day roster of original work, guest artists, live music and all around fun-ness.  Looking at some of the pictures, I see I missed a few bits of awesome on the first, Friday outing…I KNEW I should have gone both nights!  But no time for regrets, lets cover what cool stuff I DID get to witness.  I made my way into Cafe Alt on the Saturday nite of the event to a decent crowd that grew as the evening went on.  Cory and tony were there, being their usual good-host selves, and treated us to a few original songs once the entertainment got underway.  There were also a few cool stories by Martin Glassford, one of which included a spot-on Fresh Prince lyrical recitation, and some Happy Pun-Time with Leslie Cserepy.

But the main event, for me, were two new and original mini-plays from May Can.  The first up was 297 BAYVIEW CLINIC, co-written by Cory Thibert and EXES AND OHS star Fiona Green, and directed by Mekdes Teshome.  Starring Emily Carvell and Danielle Savoie, and set in the waiting room of a sex clinic, it tells the meeting of two extraordinarily different young women, each there for very different reasons.  CLINIC is a great, funny bit, marked by Danielle Savoie’s growling tough-girl Sasha, and Emily Carvell’s hysterically bubbly Karen.  The banter between them was awfully damn funny, and happily rang true throughout.  As I said, it was a short one, hardly ten minutes, and it wasn’t enough!  Short, sweet, smart, seriously well-acted…more, please.

I stole this picture from their Facebook page! I kind of hope that's ok.

And happily, there WAS more, with the second playlet of the night, this time written and directed entirely by Cory T, THE ROOM OUTSIDE THE ROOM.  Another waiting room theme story, and a rare one-manner for may Can, ROOM starred Tony Adams as a somewhat askew aspiring actor, anxiously waiting for his turn at an audition.  As he waits, he tells us of his dysfunctional home life, and the bizarre lengths he goes to to try and nail a part.  Tony delivers the goods and holds his own on the solo stage, pulling off an original, funny  and tender performance.  Once again, I found myself wantin’ more when the too-short scene was over.  The lad’s got some chops, and it was nice to see him stretch a little.  Also, I’m getting jealous of Cory’s playwritin’ mojo.  Gotta get me some of that.

The night wrapped up with Erin Lindsay and her musical partner James rockin’ out some tunes, as I sadly rushed out to catch a last bus home.  But it was mighty sweet seeing the boys (and girls) indulge themselves in some pure theatrical fun, with the promise of more on the horizon.  I’ll keep y’all apprised of whatever comes next for May Can…trust me, you’re gonna want in.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

PS:  I almost forgot…Happy Anniversary!

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