Another day, another rhymed verse play. Something in the air, perhaps? Or is February just a rhymey-sorta month? What rhymes with ‘February’, anyhow?
But odd coincidence or no, it was off the the National Arts Centre last nite for a little CREATION, courtesy of the Peters, Anderson (playwright) and Hinton (Director). Taking place in the swanky studio space, and set up in a lovely theatre-in-the-round style, the show was part of a trilogy by Anderson, also including last season’s NATIVITY and another I have yet to see, PASSION. This’un here retells the biblical tale of creation (duh), Lucifer’s fall, Adam & Eve, Noah’s Ark and a whole batch of begetting and begatting in a goofy fun musical format.
The show actually gets started a little early, with the disarming choice of having the actors milling about with the audience as they enter, chatting them up…not in character, just as themselves. It’s an interesting choice, maybe looking to make a connection early on…I successfully avoided any such interaction, as we at the Visitorium shun ALL human contact, but it seemed pleasant enough for those involved. But soon enough things got underway and God herself, aka Mary-Colin Chisholm (recently of AND SLOWLY BEAUTY…) started the universe cooking, with the aid of some killer light FX from designer Dan McIlmoyl. A host of Angels came next, led by Greg Kramer’s inspired Lucifer, a swaggering supervillain with a Dr.Seuss lilt to his speech that was great fun to watch.
Next up was Jamie Mac and Rachelle Casseus as Adam and Eve, with Kramer lurking about as the infamous snake (in a nice feminist twist, they took some of the blame for the fall from grace off of poor Eve’s shoulders at long last). This begat Cain and Abel’s little spat, with Kris Joseph and Christian Murray (another BEAUTY… veteran) playing it deadly straight as a brotherly clash of class (Joseph’s weary, stressed-out Cain was almost spookily believable), with Joey Tremblay’s braying Ass to keep things a little light. Noah and his Ark came after, although his daughter-in-law Naomi (Tamara Podemski) really did all the work…although after a few minutes I have to admit, I kind of wished she would stop shouting at everyone.
CREATION was good fun, although I had more fun at NATIVITY…some of Allen Cole’s songs left me a little flat (mind you, the rest of the audience seemed pretty tickled, so don’t take my tone-deaf ear’s word for it) and, as much as it gets dressed up or tweaked, the old testament just bums me the fuck out after a spell. Still, the cast is killer…I haven’t yet mentioned the great Bev Wolfe and Randi Helmers, rounding out the stellar lineup. And kudos to choreographer Dayna Tekatch, who seems to have done a smashing job keeping everything flowing ’round and round. It was a pretty fun time (and I DO love me some theatre-in-the-round, word), and I’ll admit to hoping PASSION makes it onto next year’s lineup, just to give me some closure. Might as well collect’em all, right? Peace, love and soul, folks,
The Visitor (and Winston)