Monday Foofarah! – – – monday april 30th 2012

….And welcome back!  Three posts in one day?  Why the Hell not?  Especially since I sweet-talked Adorkable ™ Nadine Thornhill into writing one of them (hint: it’s the Disco One).  And since recent Ottawa events…not the least of which being a show review by a revered Ottawa critic that reads like Waldorf and Statler channelling Madame Blavatsky…have convinced me that I have little choice but to up the ante and expand the scope of operations here at The Visitorium, I suppose the least I can do to start is to get the Foofarah back up to weekly speed. So without further ado…full speed ahead!  Let’s start with what’s IN THEATRES THIS WEEK:

SHAKESPEARE’S DEAD from A Company of Fools, at various locations (check their website).  If it’s a Fools show, that means it’s a good show, and you shouldn’t miss it.  They do Billy Shakes RIGHT.  Plays April 30th-May 11th Monday thru Friday, showtimes at 7:30.
BEYOND A JOKE at the Ottawa Little Theatre.  Some proper farciness from O-town’s oldest theatre group, still going strong.  Starting on May 1st, showtime at 8pm.

THE EXTREMELY SHORT PLAY FESTIVAL from New Theatre of Ottawa, at Arts Court Theatre.  12 locally-written plays of ten minutes or length, back to back!  You won’t find more bang for your buck, folks.  Previews start May 1st, Premiere on the 3rd, showtime at 8.

DEATH AND THE MAIDEN from Plosive Productions, at the Gladstone Theatre.  I won’t lie, folks…this one looks kind of tense.  Preview May 1st, Premiere on the 2nd, showtime at 8 (Saturday matinee at 3).

POINTE DE FUITE at La Nouvelle Scene. A Series of poetical texts (in French), woven into a unique night of theatre.  From the 2nd to the 12th.

SCHOOLHOUSE from the Lakeside Players, at the Ron Kolbus Theatre.  A fun sounding 1930’s romp…plays from the 3rd to 6th, showtime at 7:3o, Sunday matinee at 2.

LA ROBE DE GULNARA from Bandeladouze, at Beatrice-Desloges school (1999 Avenue de Provence, Orelans).  This one kinda snuck up on my radar, but the more I hear about it, the more amazing it sounds (scenography by recent Rideau-nominee Mishka Lavigne, word).  Running the 3rd to 5th, showtime at 7:30.  Here’s the performing troupe Bandeladouze, being awesome:

THE BIG QUESTION.  So this past Saturday, in the company of Nadine Thornhill (who is now officially the first ever Special Agent of the Visitorium, thanks to her guest-review…and I hope to recruit more agents in the near future), I shuffled on back to Arts Court to catch a  repeat viewing on closing night of the absolutely wonderful MARY MAGDALENE AND ADVENTURES IN SOBRIETY from Evolution Theatre.  There was a packed house that night, with lots of friendly faces, which made me smile.  But it also made me wonder where those crowds were during the majority of the run, when houses were reportedly dismal.  And before you go blaming that on the cancellation of the bulk of [boxhead] performances (the show MM was double-billed with), attendance got bad even before those cancellations were reported.

*Quick aside…A very heartfelt get-well soon to actor Stewart Matthews, who fell ill during the run of [boxhead].  I was one of the lucky ones who got to see the show, and I still feel privileged to have done so.  I know how hard he and the whole crew worked on that show, and I also have a good inkling of how much pain he was in for some of the performances that DID get put on.  You did everyone proud, Mr.Matthews, and we ALL look forward to the remount!

Stewart's the one with the box on his head.

Aside over.  My rambling point is, this was great theatre, and nowhere near enough turned out for it.  Even despite Prix Rideau Award wins for the Director, Actor AND company halfway through the run.  And the big question in question is…what the fucking Hell is to be DONE about this?  Because lest anyone be fooling themselves on this note, if we don’t get out and support local, independent theatre with something more than lip service, WE WON’T GET IT ANYMORE. Ask Third Wall…they didn’t cancel their season as a practical joke.  I’d say ask the Vancouver Playhouse, but I’m afraid their phone may have already been disconnected. Evolution is not an isolated case by any stretch, and I have a few thoughts, still muddled, as to what to do about it.  Here’s my first challenge, to myself as much as anyone else:
BRING A FRIEND.  And by that, I don’t just mean get a comp ticket for your buddy.  I mean, talk one of your non-theatre friends…one of those workmates you have, who says they ‘don’t really like theatre’, and you know that just means they haven’t ever actually BEEN…into coming to a show with you.  Do it this month.  Just try it…I will!  Because I hear all sorts of nonsense about the need to increase the quality of the shows, and to this I proudly cry HORSESHIT!  The shows are awesome (and I see more of them than you, so don’t even TRY and call me on this), we just need people to come and SEE how awesome they are.  5 years ago, I was one of those non-theatre folks who would swear up and down that it ‘wasn’t my thing’.  Turns out I was just an idiot.  So do a public service this month…find an idiot friend of yours, and make him/her see the error of their ways.  They’ll thank you for it.

WEBSERIES: It’s been a while since I did any talking about original webseries’…remember when I used to do spot-reviews for the dee-liteful Sweet Tarts Takeaway?  Sigh.  Simpler times.  But I DO still dig me some cool webcontent, and especially if it stars one or more of the Sweet Tarts.  So it was with some measure of joy that I recently checked out Kate Drummonds’ new show on the YouTubes, a solo cooking show called A JOCK’S GUIDE.  So far I’ve only done the first two episodes, but darlin’ Kate is as charming as I would have expected from STT.  She offers up a nice, frill-free, homespun cooking lesson from the pov of a self-professed ladyjock, and Sweet Jeebus am I dying to try out her Granma’s recipe for German Pancakes at work next brunch!  And Kate D, I promise, if I do give it a go, I’ll take pictures and post them in the next FOOFARAH.

Not that I NEED any pancake help (having recently been praised in my skills by none other than the Green Bean himself…such an inside joke it’s pointless to write this in public, yay!), but that bizness looks TASTY.  I’m gonna catch up with my Jock’s Guide toot sweet, because I suspect Kate has some sweet recipes lurking.  And in case you hadn’t had enough of me plugging internet cooking shows, here’s another of the best around, one which endears me to it via my status as both cook AND loser…the entirely awesome Henry’s Kitchen:

THE FUTURE:  I don’t have much more Foofarah left in me tonite (seriously, it’s a three-post day, you’re lucky you’re even getting THIS), but I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to expand the scope of this blog.  More to come on that, but I want to at least plant this seed…if you’re someone in the Ottawa (for now) community, who’s passionate about theatre, and has a bit of the skill at writin’…stay tuned.  I may need you.  Despite what people very kindly say about me, I DON’T see everything.  That shouldn’t mean the Visitorium can’t write about it, though. The Visitorium is EVERYWHERE.

Or that’s the plan.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)


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