Monday Foofarah! – Gala Edition

A quiet Monday in for me, even if the rest of Ottawa is all agitato about some sporting event or other (on that note…Hey, Senators?  Could you be dears and lose the next two games?  Nothing personal, I just want my barspace back.  Ta very much.), and I could use the rest.  Last night was…well.  We’ll be getting to that soon enough.  As always in the land of FOOFARAH, first things are first (except when they’re not, but that’s not today):

IN TOWN THIS WEEK: Lots to see and do, kids…continuing from last week are THE SUICIDE at the OSSD, which I’m eager to catch tomorrow night.  And at Arts Court, my favouritest double-bill around from Evolution Theatre, MARY MAGDALENE AND ADVENTURES IN SOBRIETY (starring Rideau Award WINNER Nancy Kenny), and [boxhead], and I’ll be back for a second viewing for sure. Starting up are MOUVING at la Nouvelle Scene, a clown-based show I can’t wait to see (25th-28th).  HIS GIRL FRIDAY, the annual GCTC Lawyer Play Fundraiser also runs 25-28, and THE MIKADO from the Savoy Society hits the Adult High School from the 26th to 29th.  And you KNOW you want yourself some Gilbert and Sullivan, yo.

ACTING!  So I haven’t been to any auditions in some time, and I’m starting to think maybe I should sign up for a new course at the OSSD, just to keep my toe in the water, when I get an invitation from the man himself Ken Godmere.  Seems he’s putting on a Fringe show that’ll be touring the nation starting in Ottawa this June (read more at the Facebook Page, which you should totally like), and he needs some people to come in and record a few voices for the audio track.  Hey, I’M a people!  I hustled my way through the occasionally terrifying wilderness of Blackburn Hamlet to Ken’s abode, where he, superstar Director Tania Levy, and their right-hand gal Serena (sorry, I’m blanking on your last name right now!) awaited with their makeshift upright-sofa recording studio.  I don’t want to give anything away about the storyline this early, but Ken had me read for a number of small roles, various faceless entities who interact with his brilliant character Vernus throughout the show.  I had a blast doing it (and WAIT until you hear Tania’s niece in the show…best actor I’ve heard in a LONG while, truth), and was delighted to get some good reactions out of my ‘audience’.  It’s a good sign when the Director runs over and hugs you, right?

Anyhow, Tania went so far as to suggest I might make a bit of a run at this ‘voice acting’ thing, mentioning Richard Hemphill and his delightful bit of radio Foofarah, REMOTE PLANET.  As Richard and I get along like gangbusters already, let me just say this:  Richard, if you’re reading this, and ya ever need an extra voicebox or two to read the odd line, give me a shout, I’d love to try this again.   And wow, but that was the laziest attempt to get a gig that I could ever imagine happening.  Here’s to sloth!

So what else is going on?  Not really anything else that I can think of, except for (piano-roll please…)

THE PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS GALA! Yay, it’s that time of year again!  Dressin’ up, gettin’ down, and watching cool people win cool stuff.  Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!  I was pretty stoked for this year’s shindig, as lots of my pals were nominated for stuff, lots of shows I loved were up for awards, and at the last minute I went and picked up a new zoot suit from Ragtime (my favouritest clothing store EVAH!).  Drove on in to the doings, this year in Orleans at the swanky Shenkman Centre, with my date from last year, Adorkable ™ Nadine Thornhill, who looked amazing as always (just wait for her Fashion Friday post on her blog, you’ll see what I mean).  We checked our coats, I grabbed a drink, and soon enough met up with my date, the sweet, talented, and enthusiastically Irish beauty, Tess McManus (of QUEEN FOR A DAY and COMPANY fame, and also a freakin’ cool gal), who did me the  honour of checking out the gala by my side.  I can honestly say she’s the reason I’m drinking Guinness and Jameson’s as I write this…the Irish are SUCH good influences (and that’s NOT sarcasm)!

The awards were given out in the big room at Shenkman, which I had never even set foot in before, and…yeah, it’s big.  The show’s theme was ‘All that Jazz’ and they kicked it off hardcore with a show-stopping show-starter performance of the classic song from the amazing trio of Annie Lefebvre, Natalie Joy Quesnel, and Pirate Jenny (Gabrielle Lalonde for you nitpickers out there), before handing the show over to hosts Lefebvre, and CBC’s Alan Neal, who make a perfectly goddam wunnerful duo onstage.  And as with last year, I won’t go into ALL the winners and onstage goings-on with you, although I will pick out a few hilites for myself:

– Andy Massingham won for EXIT THE KING.  Good.  That’s the one I would have picked.

– I didn’t see many French shows last year, but a couple of the ones I did see, FRERES D’HIVER and TARAM, cleaned up big, and I’m glad as fuck. Those were killer shows, and deserve all the love.

– Only the French award for ‘Behind the Scenes’ heroes was given out this year, on account of not enough English companies bothered nominating anyone.  Let’s not repeat that shame next year, hey?  Companies, send those letters in NOW, and don’t stop until Xmas, deal?  Represent.

– Fucking YAY!!!  For Nancy and Tania and Nick, and their award for ROLLER DERBY SAVED MY SOUL as Outstanding Fringe production. What did I TELL you people about that show??  And an extra YAY!!!  for the lovely Katie Bunting, our Emerging Artist 2011 (and her French counterpart, Marjolaine Beauchamp).

– Fav’rit moment of the ceremony: Joel Beddows, already taking the stage for Best Director for FRERES D’HIVER, realizing he’s also won Best Director for LAVENDER RAILROAD (or was it vice versa? I forget).  So very cute.  Second fav’rit moment: Andy and Julie’s impromptu onstage pratfall after winning best original work for BIFURCATE ME (with Kevin Orr).

– I’m a LITTLE bummed that UNDER MILK WOOD didn’t nab Outstanding Production (and you HAD to give it to the one show I didn’t see?  Dammit, St.Lawrence Shakespeare Festival, now I have to plan a road trip your way!), but I’m still happy it got nominated for a few things.

-And the interludes from the OTTAWA DANCE DIRECTIVE?  I’m happy to say they did exactly what they were supposed to do, and I now really, really want to go see an ODD show.  Started strong, ended AMAZING.  Good show.  All that Jazz indeed.

…but enough of that!  For a complete list of winners…I don’t know, try google or something.  There’s drinking and merriment to be had!  And oh, oh, but the rubbernecking and gawking to be had!  SO MANY FAMOUS PEOPLE!!  John Koensgen, Zach Counsil, Kate Smith AND her Mom…it makes one swoon.  And while I start reminiscing about drunkenly dancing the night away in my blue 60’s tightpants, lets get to the nitty-gritty of this post – THE RIDEAU 2012 CRUSH LIST!
(Yes, I know it’s called Rideau 2011 on Twitter, but Twitter is stoopid.  I KNOW what year it is, thank you very much)

#1 – Tess McManus.  As Always, the lady I came in with is the lady to beat, and Miss D’Arcy McGee Rose is no exception, especially in red.  Thanks so much for coming out with me, Bunny, let’s do Salt’n’Pepper Tofu soon!

#2 – Tania Levy.  Simply smashing in her gown, and with maybe the best hair in the building (I said it), plus which she said nice things about me, which always makes me like people more. Also, Tania Levy is FUCKING AWESOME.  So there.

#3 – Steve Martin’s Jacket.  Sweet Mother of Pearl, that was a hot jacket. I would TOTALLY put out for that jacket.  Auf Wiedersehen indeed, bitches!

#4 – Laura (Lee Bell, according to my minimal back research…I never got her last name in person).  Former Youth Infringement Producer, and apparent dance floor Queen, whom I just met that evening, and she got some MOVES, dig it. Also, YI starts in less than a month, and that’s FANTASTIC.  Side note, but still.  It’s cool.

#5 – Jess Preece and Hilary Nichol.  Both awesome, both gorgeous, both experts at the tin whistle, Jess and Hilary are this year’s Kydi…I’m still working on their nickname, tho.  Jessary?  Hilaress?  I may have to take it to a vote.

A rare photo of 'KYDI', known to frequent the Rideaus in search of fresh victims to enslave (aka the amazing Jodi Morden and Kyla Gray, two of the swellest gals EVER).

…and as ever, I could have gone on and on.  There was darlin’ HM, looking amazing and giving me my fav’rit compliment of the evening (that goes a long way with me), the return of Bronwyn Steinberg AND Cat Leger, Kelly Rigole and her ziploc dress, the awesome Micheline Marin from TARAM (strutting around like she owned the place…SO cool), and that tall girl with the glasses who I never did identify.  Also, Lawrence and Joel looked positively ADORABLE, defy that statement if you dare.  And it almost goes without saying that Nadine is the tops, my dance and fashion soulmate (I didn’t even know I gave a shit about fashion until I met her), and dancing with her is a high point of my year.  Together, we successfully brought the Hat back to the Rideaus, and we’re not gonna let it go anywhere anytime soon.

And now, it’s getting late.  Time to say goodnite, but not without one last look back at the Gala, courtesy of the unbeatable Andrew Alexander and his dancing camera (just give’em a click to make them bigger):

Pirate Jenny and her new crew (do any of you even get that joke?)
Nancy Kenny's victory dances ALWAYS occur in blurry FX mode. It's how she rolls.
Joel realizes he's won best director TWICE. Tell me that's not adorable!!
Marjolaine Beauchamp and Katie Bunting, accepting their Emerging Artist Awards. Could not have happened to better folk.
The Ottawa Dance Directive, being awesome.
Me, saying Peace, Love and Soul, Ottawa...

The Visitor (and Winston)


  1. Thank you for the Roller Derby love.
    Thank you for the exposure on the lack of stage management noms
    Thank you for the picture of Joël winning in both official languages.
    Thank you for being so awesome and for making the Ottawa Theatre community more vibrant and fun place to work.
    So in short thank you for being the wonderful you that you are every day.

    • You can thank Andrew for the perfect pic of Joel..but quite frankly, I’ll take everything else! Thank YOU for being, as always, the hardest-working (and fucking friendliest, and warmest, and most reliable) man in show bizness. Let’s take a drink sometime when the 2-bill is over, right?

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