I’ve got a good feeling about this one, folks. I’ll admit, the last Foofarah was kinda weak…shit, even I can’t knock it outta the park EVERY at bat. But by golly at least I’m swinging. Which, as I was reminded recently, is more than a few people are doing. So without too many extra helpings of ado, let’s get to the tale of the tape:
IN THEATRES THIS WEEK:
CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. AAaaah, I missed this one last week, thanks to my stoopid cough! I’ll hopefully be there this week, to catch all the fun.
OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL , May 30th to June 3rd at various locations (mostly in and around the War Museum, but check the schedule on their website). Lots of, quite frankly, amazing looking shows for kids from around the country and the world. If you have a little one or two, haul them out! It’ll do them good.
TITANIC from Orpheus Musical Society, at Centrepointe Theatre. Starting on the 1st…who doesn’t love the all-singing tale of an historical tragedy? From the folks who know musicals, so check it out.
VINCENT VAN GOGH: A LIFE IN PANTINGS at the Gladstone Theatre on the 1st only. Co-presented by Third Wall Theatre, this one-manner from Dutch performer Frank Groothof sounds pretty amazing. If only there weren’t another one-night-only supershow that same everning. But wait…
AN EVENING WITH SCOTT THOMPSON at Arts Court Theatre. A fundraiser for the Ottawa Fringe Festival, legendary Kids in the Hall alum Thompson will be presenting his new show for, you guessed it, one night only. Good luck deciding, folks, I’m still torn myself. To help us both make up our minds, here’s the theme song from HOWARD THE DUCK. Hey, it MIGHT help:
FRINGE: Well, the official Ottawa Fringe launch party is coming up this Thursday, and I am pretty stoked for the shindig. I’ve never been to the Fringe launch before, can you believe it? I doesn’t know what to expect! Except that tomorrow, I start my first round of Fringe-interviews, gearing up for a major preview assault before the event itself. And soon after the launch, I plan to publicly unveil my newly assembled TEAM VISITORIUM, who will be joining me this year to ensure the Visitorium has TOTAL Fringe coverage. And heck, with only 52 shows this year I may just catch’em all myself anyhow! I’m already assembling my own must-see lists, and working on getting ever more interviews, previews and what-not…I would have contacted more folks already for chats, but this cough is getting me down. 😦 Don’t worry, I’ll get over it, and get some god-damned work done!
Incidentally, I’m calling off my demands for more Ottawa shows to send me their media materials, as it’s been pointed out to me that I’m gonna have total access to ALL that stuff after the launch anyhow. Still, props to the companies that DID go the extra mile and send me stuff. I appreciate it (even if I still ended up with more Montreal Fringe shows sending me their kits, in the end…still bummed I can’t make any of their Fringe, but a preview post of that Festival WILL be coming soon!). And now, speaking of Montreal, here’s a video rec from Bloody Underrated‘s Al Lafrance:
A FEW OF MY FAV’RIT PLACES IN TOWN: Crosstown Traffic. The Turning Point. The Horn of Africa. Herb and Spice. The Dominion Tavern. The Carleton Tavern. The Elmdale Tavern. Book Bazaar. Adorit. Bytowne Cinema. Mayfair Theatre. Comic Book Shoppe. Ada’s Diner. Wellington Diner. St.Vincent de Paul. Invisible Cinema.
That’s all off the top of my head. Add to the list.
MEANWHILE, IN ICELAND… I was mentioning my upcoming Fringe-review team of special agents previously. Well, don’t think Team Visitorium is bound by mere international datelines and coastal shores! Hells no! Tonight, for the first time ever, we’re proud to feature a Theatre update from our glamorous overseas correspondent, LAURA LEE BELL. Laura is a former producer of the Youth Infringement Festival, an amazing dancer, and just one of the coolest people I’ve met in a good long while. She’s on an epic tour of Iceland, Europe and other faraway lands like that just now, and has agreed to post us the odd review of their local theatre as opportunity arises. Here’s the first…be nice, and maybe she’ll do some more for us, okay?
Thanks for the chance to write about cool theatre I see abroad on my trip. I have now been in Iceland for 4 days and I’m starting to figure out my way around. What a strange and quirky city Reykjavik is! Funny enough I have met a Canadian from Ottawa who is involved in the theatre scene. Her name is Kate Heney so I said I’d give a shout out to her! And to answer your question, Kevin, about fish…Icelandic people not only like their fish but they actually eat puffin, shark and whale too.
Anyway, on the theatre stuff! I decided last minute yesterday, as it rained, to make my way to the National Iceland Theatre in Black Box Studio. One thing I love about this city is how people are so proud of their art…they have stores that are just for Icelandic music, clothes and original theatre work! We Ottawaians could learn a thing or two!
The play I saw was The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter, called AFMAELISVEISLAN in Icelandic. The play was dark and tense. Even without understanding the words, I was terrified of what was going to happen next, the actors all were clear even without understanding a word they said. I was able to identify all the characters and their were clear distinctions. My favourites were Meg and Lulu who were fun and loveable characters that were unaware of danger they were really in.
What I noticed that was most different from what I was used to was the use of sound and lighting. This play was not afraid to stray from the normal, with its jagged-edge lighting and ominous echoes that depict Stanley’s transition to insanity. Not only that but repeating screams and quick, abrupt light changes left you feeling uncomfortable at the end of the play, and also wondering if this was it, when we discover Lulu on the table. Followed by a black out and no bow. I really enjoyed this theatre piece and can’t wait to see my next play across the ocean! Next is London!
Bye for now!
Bless! ( As the Icelandic for Goodbye)
Laura Lee Bell
I really have nothing to follow THAT up with, except that I really, really hope Laura takes this opportunity to eat Puffin, because I’m very curious what that tastes like. Also, what the fuck is a Puffin? But that’s getting sidetracked…Thanks Laura, you’re the goods. And a big HELLO! to Kate Heney, who is also in Iceland, where apparently all the cool people are. And now, to play us out, being both an Iceland AND Fringe tie-in (if you don’t get the reference now, you will in a month)…Yeah, you guessed it.
Peace, love and soul,
The Visitor (and Winston)