Tonight was a pretty great night at the Elmdale Tavern. Showed up early for the monthly Crush Improv ‘Bout Time show, bag of delicious Hintonburger takeout on hand to fill me with goodness. Chatted with Jen Jarvis, reg’lar doorgal at the Crush events, and fresh off her Roller Derby debut in Kanata a few nights prior (sorry I missed your premiere, Jen, but more on that later). Then, as I sat by my lonesome waiting for the show to begin, I was joined at the last minute by local superstars Cat Leger, Tania Levy and Pat Gauthier! Very cool, and the show (teams TWO AND A HALF WOMEN vs. FROGSONG) was a serious improv gem…Glass-bottom boat indeed, good sirs. Many laffs were had, three quarts of Labatt 50 imbibed, and it’s now 11 o’clock at night, and I have less than an hour to post some FOOFARAH while it’s still Monday, local time. Don’t worry.
I have a plan.
– IN THEATRES THIS WEEK:
SHAKESPEARE’S DEAD from A Company of Fools. Playing until the 11th (Friday) at various locations…check http://www.fools.ca for details, then check out a surefire good night out!
BEYOND A JOKE from Ottawa Little Theatre, playing all week and into next at Ottawa’s longest running community theatre company.
THE EXTREMELY SHORT PLAY FESTIVAL from New Theatre of Ottawa, at Arts Court. 11 original plays, back to back, every night until the 12th. You WILL love more than a few of these shows.
KING LEAR at the National Arts Centre. Highly anticipated, Peter Hinton’s vision of an all-aboriginal version of Shakespeare’s classic comes to life, and you don’t wanna be the person who missed it. Get your tickets NOW. Previews start tomorrow, premiere on Friday.
MY MOTHER’S LESBIAN JEWISH WICCAN WEDDING from Goya Theatre, at Centrepointe. From the 10th to 13th, some musical fun from people who know how.
DEATH AND THE MAIDEN from Plosive Productions, at the Gladstone. Continuing all week, a tight thriller with a killer cast. VERY worth checking out (now with special lowered rates for students/artists/unwaged!).
SUBDEVISION from various, at St.Paul’s Eastern United. 10th to 12th, you can read a little more about this incredible mini-festival Here. Do NOT miss out.
EMPTY SPACE FINALE from Third Wall, at Cube Gallery. One night only, on the 9th, a night of Oscar Wilde shorts read by, among others, the lovely Katie Bunting. Who could ask for more?
And now, here’s something I stole from the the Facebook page of Stefani diGaetano:
– WHY I MISSED ROLLER DERBY: Okay, so I was ALL set to trek out to Kanata this Saturday to check out some local Roller Derby action. What the Hell, after seeing ROLLER DERBY SAVED MY SOUL three times, I might as well get a little more of the real deal, right? It’s not like I’m gonna get a chance to see Nancy Kenny’s award-winning one-woman show in Ottawa again anytime soon…right..?
Pause for dramatic effect. ANYways, I was all set to go. But then the pal I was planning on seeing it with never got back to me, and I didn’t fancy the trek all the way out to Kanata on my lonesome. Worse, I didn’t look forward to the long, lonely trip BACK. That’s what kills, me, really…the thought of that long solitary bus ride home has killed more than a few planned nights out for me, I admit. Hey, I never said I was stable. But the thing that sealed my lack of derby that evening was…and geek confession here…when I remembered I hadn’t seen THE AVENGERS yet. And sorry, Derby gals, but I HAD to see me some Avengers. So, that’s my sad real reason…I was catching Joss Whedon’s take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes downtown, and…fuck it, it was AWESOME. I think my fav’rit part must have been the epic Hulk/Thor battle. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I mean. If not, I managed to sneak a copy of it for you now…enjoy!
Now I’ll admit, I WAS expecting the effects to be a little more impressive, but really, it’s all about the story, is it not?
MONTREAL: Okay, so there’s this weird thing that’s been happening. I recently got invited, rather out of the blue, to a show playing at Montreal’s Mainline Theatre. I think it had something to do with my recently being added to the media list for Theatre la Catapulte, as the invite happened only days afterwards, but whatever…it was still cool as fuck! I replied affirmative and, luck willing, I’m gonna head down to Montreal next week for a day and check out the show (it sounds AMAZING).
Only…it didn’t stop there. Since receiving that particular invite, I’ve gotten missives about THREE other shows in la Belle Provence, and I’m not sure what to make of it! There are still shows in OTTAWA I don’t get invited to! Seriously, there are people who invite the Capital Critics Circle to shows, and NOT me! Still, I shouldn’t judge…some folks may LIKE being insulted while someone is misspelling their show’s name.
…But MONTREAL! Among the invites I got recently was one to Yana Kesala’s Fringe show (that I caught in Victoria, to my delight) THE UKRAINIAN DENTIST’S DAUGHTER. I’d love to see it again, but Montreal and Ottawa Fringe overlap entirely this year, and I’m a hometown boy. Another Victoria pal coming to Montreal this year is Shane Adamczak of Weeping Spoon Productions, aka Zack Adams. His show LOVE SONGS FOR FUTURE GIRL was one of the funnest at the Vic-Fringe last year, and I’m jealous as Hell that Montreal is getting his new epic, A COMPLETE HISTORY OF ZACK ADAMS this year. Those of you in the know, and with big hearts and a love of indie theatre and all that, might want to head over to his website, and donate to his travel fund. Trust me, it’s a good cause. And Zack, since I’m too low-tech to donate online at the moment, pimping you thus is the next best thing I can do. Also, come to Ottawa!!
CITIZEN TO CITIZEN: I’ve been trying to increase my output here at the Visitorium of late…it ain’t easy. Thanks to special guest-reviewers like Nadine Thornhill and Danielle Savoie (national treasures each, and no fooling) I’ve gotten in a couple of posts I otherwise wouldn’t have managed, and I’m looking to expand further. It’s not entirely out of ego (though I apparently DO possess such a creature, much to my surprise). A lot of it is motivated by the realization that this silly, Fringe-obsessed whim of a blog I started a couple years ago (almost) is now one of the increasingly few sources of theatrical review available in Ottawa.
And holy Motherfucking HELL does that make me ashamed. I mean, when the Ottawa Sun stopped Theatre reviews, no one really acted surprised. When Al Bundy eventually dies in some fictional universe, on the toilet, mid-shit, the Sun is the paper he’ll be reading. It’s a right-wing cartoon of a rag that almost literally exists because of Sports and Tits. I GET that their readership (if the word ‘read’ can legitimately be placed in there) is not only uninterested, but actively hostile to any sort of art that doesn’t include exploding cars (and yes, I’m well aware how that comes off in a post that already praised The Avengers. Fuck you, I have layers.)
But the Citizen..? Dude, you were supposed to be our NEWSPAPER! Now all of a sudden, there hasn’t been any professional show reviews in weeks! Although you still post a weekly ‘Cappie’ high school production review…an interesting choice. And I’m not dissing on the Cappies, I love’em, link to them, and my site has reviewed a couple of HS shows too! In fact, the show Nadine reviewed for me about ten days ago now, Nepean High’s production of XANADU, was just today covered in the Citizen. TODAY. Ten days AFTER the show closed. Hell, even MY review was too late, but come on..!
Is this it? Is the signature paper of Canada’s Capital, the city that houses the National ARTS Centre, going to completely ignore professional, local theatre? SERIOUSLY? And make no mistake, Ottawa Citizen, I am CALLING YOU OUT on this one. A token posting of a Cappie review, awesome as that gang is (and they are), rather defeats its own purpose. As my friend the PH pointed out, why support High School Theatre, if you’re only going to ignore them once they turn pro? You could do so much good, SO much more than I can with my shitty blog (and to your shame, I’m currently beating your ass in the ‘doing good for local theatre’ department, thank you very much). Step up, Citizen. Or at least, stop accepting all those promo tickets for opening nights (I recognize your people now), and then not bothering to review the shows. That’s fucking PATHETIC.
God dammit, I need some metal.
Awright, I think I need to sleep this night off…I’m getting all worked up, and I have to work a double tomorrow on what is supposed to be my day off. Do me a favour and go see some cool-ass theatre this week, hokay? And maybe tell me about it if you do. I suddenly feel the need to know if I, you know…matter. Although that’s WAY less important than you actually seeing the theatre. THAT’S what matters.
Oh, and congrats to tonite’s Improv host Dan Lajoie, who was made a full-fledged member of CRUSH IMPROV after the bout, as well as local legend Glen Gower becoming their official musician. Nice to hear some good stories every now and then, hey? Peace, love and soul,
The Visitor (and Winston)
Oh my god! Talk about hitting the nail on the head. What other city tolerate the absence of the local professional arts scene in its major newspaper? Particularly given this city’s history of local theatre and the media’s confusion between amateur and professional designations. It’s enough to make an artist cry… and I have. Kudos to you Visitorium! Let’s all get on this wagon and tell the truth about the neglect the professional arts function under in our community. At least,
let’s talk about it.
Thanks SO much for the boost there, John K. I admit, I woke up a little edgy the morning after posting this…when I saw I had heavyweights like yourself and Pierre Brault in my corner on the matter, I breathed a little easier. Although NOW I’m a little disappointed no flak has fallen at all…rather worries me that the ‘other side’ doesn’t even care that much.
We need to make more noise as a community. They can ignore us at their own peril. We can make them look rinky dink if we put our collective minds to this.
Kevin, I salute you my friend. Thank you for being you and saying what needs to be said. YOU are one of the gems of Ottawa. I feel you are one of the few reviewers ( can we call them that if they are no shows) that actually, genuinely seems to not only like theatre but to fucking love it with every fiber of your being. It is a magical thing to witness and your support of the arts ( if they don’t comp me I am paying and reviewing anyways, seeing shows more then once, talking honestly and openly to us not running out during the applause or even before the show is over) People look up to you. Keep on trucking!
That’s some mighty praise, good sir, and I am duly humbled. And if I EVER duck out during the applause, do me a favour..? Don’t ever let me back in, EVER, because I clearly don’t want to be there.
Don’t worry, though, as that will never god-damn well happen. And seriously, let’s go for a drink soon, ya hear?
[…] he hasn’t been vocal in his disdain for the seeming abandonment by mainstream media. In an article posted on his blog on May 7th, 2012, he did not pull any […]