May is getting off to a right lucky start, says I. The weather’s fine, my silly blog is as busy as ever and starting to grow (after a successful guest-review from Adorkable ™ Nadine Thornhill, I’ve already gotten a second special agent booked for another review later in the week, AND I’ll be taking a road trip to Montreal to review a show there later this month!), and I just picked up the new #1 issue of X-O MANOWAR at the Comic Book Shoppe!
But what else is going right for the merry month of May? Well, we privileged folk in Ottawa are getting our dose of A Company of Fools extra-early this year! Normally, the Fools (Ottawa’s longest-running professional Shakespeare company, specializing in finding the lighter side of Billy Shakes) wait until the Summer to start a touring show…and this summer will be no different, when they hit parks across the region starting July 2nd with their girl-happy rendition of HENRY V! But this year, the Fools decided to try their luck with a special INDOOR run of their brand of theatrical tomfoolery, resulting in this two-week tour of SHAKESPEARE’S DEAD, starring the triple-threat team of AL Connors, Scott Florence and Margo MacDonald.
The story, a bit of silliness involving a Shakespearean troupe who have lost their semi-beloved leader, only to have one of their number possessed by the spirit of Wm. Shakespeare himself, is only there to help link the various gags and skits together. Really, this show is a collection of classic Fools bits (many seen recently at Algonquin Theatre in their AL Connors-directed production of SHAKESPEARE’S INTERACTIVE CIRCUS), including one or two I hadn’t caught before. But the beautiful thing about the Fools is that they’re kind of like an issue of GROO THE WANDERER…it doesn’t really matter if the jokes are ones you’ve seen before, just in a different order…they’re STILL funny, because the performers are good enough to always keep’em fresh. And, having never seen Margo Mac in her ‘Doll’ character before, that was a particular joy…and she looks LOVELY in those glasses, thank you very much.
The Fools are masters at what they do, and what they do is mine Shakespeare for every laugh and chuckle you never thought was hiding there before. They work hard, play hard, sing, dance, and your kids WILL love it. How often do you go to a theatrical performance where the actors actually ENCOURAGE you to hurl projectiles towards the stage? It’s a joyous and engaging time…AL is as perfect a straight man as ever, Scott can (and does) ham it up with the best of them, and Margo will whet your appetite but good for her turn in the lead for the summer tour (yes, SHE plays Henry the Fifth…start counting the days NOW, folks). The show moves from location to location…here’s the remaining schedule. All shows start at 7:30, pay-what-you-can:
Wednesday May 2 – St.Pauls University, 223 Main st., Ottawa East
Thursday May 3 –Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Ave, Glebe
Friday May 4 –Memorial Hall, Dufferin at Mackay, New Edinburgh
Monday May 7 –Main Library, 120 Metcalfe st., Downtown
Tuesday May 8 – Royal Canadian Legion #136, 5550 Anne St., Manotick
Wednesday May 9 – Community Centre, 1448 Meadow Dr., Greely
Thursday May 10 – Nepean Creative Arts Centre, 35 Stafford Rd., Bells Corners
Friday May11 – Shenkman Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd., Orleans
Find one near you! And learn the dance moves if you really want to join in on the fun (more info on their website). Peace, love and soul,
The Visitor (and Winston)