Experiments in Bifurcation

Was having a bit of a sad yesterday.  I know, I know, not stunningly original behaviour for me, but this time, if I told you WHY I was having a sad..?  You’d be sad too.  So your poor old Visitor needed some cheer on a cold winter’s eve in Ottawa, oh yes he did.

Happily, a few things came to my rescue.  One was the copy of Grant Morrison’s SUPERGODS I had in my backpack, which I dug heartily into at the Dominion Tavern.  And the other was the surprise news that last year’s Undercurrents darlin’ BIFURCATE ME was showing at Academic Hall!  Any excuse to get Academic, I always say.

The production from Theatre 4.669, as noted, first showed up in the inaugural Undercurrents Festival at the GCTC studio last January and February.  And it was successful enough that it’s now en route to the Wildside Festival in Montreal (along with MiCasa theatre’s beloved COUNTRIES SHAPED LIKE STARS and other dandy sounding shows…wish I was there!).  Directed by Kevin Orr, it stars Nathaly Charrette (replacing original co-star Julie leGal) and Andy Massingham (hardest working man in show business) as Collette and Matt, two living subjects in a curious 1972 biological experiment involving spoken orders from a never-seen scientist, complicated equations scrawled across two blackboards, and more falling down than Charlie Sheen’s bachelor party.  Oh, and our two leads don’t even speak the same language.

It’s inspired madness.  Flirting with absurdism like a Three Stooges movie directed by Robert Anton Wilson, Quantum and Chaos theories collide with the human condition in a seemingly unending parade of pratfalls, tosses, crashes and outright collapses.  I admit to being a little worried at losing Ms.LeGal, but there was no need…Nathaly and Andy have a positively dee-liteful onstage chemistry that’s infectious throughout the show.  There are lots of laughs, some surprising poignancy, and all the while the events of the 1972 Munich Olympics lurk in the background, getting lost in translation along the way.

BIFURCATE ME was just the right shot in the arm I needed, and I’m glad they decided to offer up these preview shows before hitting the road and kicking Montreal’s ass.  Break all the legs, 4.669, ya done good.  And try not to hurt yourselves…seriously, some of those falls look PAINFUL.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

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