Howdy! Another week, another no-entries-at-all on this perhaps rather rashly award-nominated blog. Oh well. Some half-hearted explanations for that lack of activity are somewhere below, as well as other cool stuff (I hope), but first things, as sometimes happens, first!
– IN THEATRES THIS WEEK:
THE NUMBER 14 from Axis Theatre, at the Irving Greenberg Theatre (GCTC). Last week for this crazy fun show about the people you meet on the bus. Unmissable.
MR.PIM PASSES BY at the Ottawa Little Theatre. Also closing out this week, AA Milne’s sweet and snappy comedy of love and tradition.
MIRACLE ON 34th STREET: THE RADIO PLAY at the Gladstone Theatre. Previews beginning on the 14th for the annual radio-show fun at the Gladstone, courtesy of Plosive Productions and director Nicole Milne.
CARNAVAL DES ANIMAUX at la Nouvelle Scene. An all-ages show on the 15th only, from L’Arsenal a Musique and Cie Vox Theatre!
DON’T DRINK THE WATER at Centrepointe Theate, from the Nepean Student Players. On the 14th and 15th, come and check out some Woody Allen, from a gang of high schoolers who didn’t let a little thing like a labour dispute stop them from putting on a show!
FIRST ABOVE ALL at Shenkman Centre, from Vintage Stock Players. From the 13th thru 15th, a little Avro Arrow to get yer blood pumping!
LES ZURBAINS 15 ANS at the NAC. A fascinating sounding youth-oriented show from NAC French theatre, produced by Theatre le Clou. From the 11th thru 15th.
MAINLINE: Ever since this past summer, I keep getting a regular bunch of invites via e-mail to come and see/review shows in Montreal. Now, I pretty much owe that to MTL’s far superior answer to me, Al Lafrance at Bloody Underrated. Al and his crack team cover it all over Montreal way, and a lot of what goes on happens at the legendary MAINLINE THEATRE. Started in 2005, the Mainline quickly became a home away from home to all sorts of Fringe artists, improv kids, burlesque performers, and whoever else would fit in the doors. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it from people who I respect a hell of a lot, like Al, and Victoria, and Shane Adamczak (aka Zack Adams), and Cameryn Moore, and many more. So when I heard the Mainline was in a bad way, it hit home. I’ll let them tell you the story themselves, and then, if you’ve got any spare Xmas change knocking about the place, send it their way and hurry! Don’t be letting the Stephen Harpers of the world win this time, eh?
“In 2005 we received a grant from the Canada Council to produce Johnny Canuck and the Last Burlesque in our own space. We decided to make a home for emerging artists, seasoned ones too, and perhaps most importantly, for the spirit of the Fringe to live on throughout the year.
Seven years later, more than 55,000 people have walked up our stairs to see hundreds of shows. MainLine has helped launch companies and artists like Tableau d’hôte, Simon Boulerice, Dance Animal, Les Néos, Processed Theatre, and SideMart Theatrical Grocery. We have developed new talent through the Gala for Student Drama, tickled funny bones with Uncalled For Improv, tittilated with Miss Sugarpuss, and even put on a few of our own critical and popular successes, like Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Hedda Gabler, and The Mid-Life Crisis of Dionysus.
Over the years, we have overcome the many obstacles faced by all independent artists cursed with deeper passions than pockets. Still, we never lost our cockeyed optimism. However, recent changes in the political and economic landscapes hit us hard and fast. The unfortunate reality is, if we don’t raise $15,000 by the end of 2012 we will have to shut our doors forever.
Raising this sum in such a short time may seem a daunting task. It may even seem impossible, but I assure you, it is NOT. Besides, the impossible is MainLine’s stock and trade. If I had dug a grave every time MainLine was handed a death sentence, I would be halfway to China by now.
MainLine Theatre is our communal vision, but without your help now, it will soon turn from a reality to a memory. And so I ask everyone who has ever performed at, benefited from, or enjoyed MainLine Theatre to please step up and help us in our time of need. Any and all donations will help. Any donation over $20 will receive a tax receipt but no amount is too small.
It’s quick and easy to help. Just click on the CanadaHelps link below to make your donation and receive your tax receipt. Please join our Facebook group and invite your friends to donate as well. Remember, enthusiasm, like our bathroom, is infectious.
To make a donation please visit:http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s38135
Thank you for your generous support.”
Jeremy Hechtman, Artistic & Executive Director, MainLine Theatre
DRAMATIC READINGS OF THE SHIT I FIND IN MY SPAM FILTER
READING THE SECOND:
MORE SHOWS: It may seem surprising, since this Foofarah is the first post on the blog since the LAST Foofarah, but I actually do see some theatre from time to time. It’s just that, for one reason (laziness) or another (I’m just awful), I haven’t been writing about any of it this particular week. Okay, I did indulge in repeat viewings of both THE NUMBER 14 and NOVEMBER (two of my fav’rit shows of, well, the whole damn year), and I guess I didn’t have much to say about those wonderful shows that I haven’t already said. I should make a note, however, to point out what a wonderful thing VOLUNTEERING at one of your local theatres can be! It was in my regular voluntary status that I hit up 14 again this past Tuesday, and I ended up being able to catch a complimentary viewing of SevenThirty’s great NOVEMBER on closing night when I answered smooth Tim Oberholzer’s call for help in striking the amazing White House set the following morning. Aside from a short bit of chair removal following THE LAVENDER RAILROAD a while back, this was my first set striking, and it was a good time. Also, hard bloody work, but a good start to my Sunday. So, volunteer! You’ll feel good, and you’ll see AND help great theatre. I’m just saying.
The previous night I’d been out at Academic Hall, catching the much anticipated CRUSH IMPROV FIFTH ANNIVERSARY SHOW, which was a goddamned hoot and three-quarters, it was! From a particularly impressive opening dance routine from a stage FULL of non-dancers (well done, gang!), to some brilliant footage from the streets of Amsterdam courtesy of Cari Leslie, the Crush gang (AL Connors, Desiree Warmington, Tim Anderson, Dan Lajoie and Glen Gower) and friends (Julie Dumais, Michael Grajewski, Kirsten Rasmussen, Jordan Moffat and Anders Yates) took it up a notch for their Wooden anniversary. Doorgal Jen Jarvis headed up to the booth to give Crush some sweet tech cues, Glen Gower provided the usual perfect tunes on keyboard, and the performers rolled out an epic variety of Improv to please all tastes. A few things I took away from the night include: Dan Lajoie has a LOT of very vocal fans that none of us ever knew about; Crush was formed years ago when AL Connors lured an unsuspecting teenage girl to a dark, empty warehouse; Brad MacNeil has difficulty differentiating between ‘Unicorn’ and ‘Uniform’ over the phone, to everyone’s amusement; Two and Half Women (featuring Tim Anderson and his Elmdale cohorts Brooke Cameron and Kristine Shadid) seem to be dragging out their ‘retirement’ for all it’s worth, which is a good thing; and my crush on Kirsten Rasmussen continues unabated. Seriously, if I ever catch one of her solo Fringe shows, I’m DONE for. A fine and hilarious night from the folks putting Ottawa Improv on the map in a big way. Five more years! And don’t forget, the gang are having a farewell-to-the-Elmdale Tavern show on Monday the 17th! Be there!!
Actually, there’s one more show that I also wanted to mention, actually from a few weeks back. I would have written about it before but, well…I can’t actually talk about it. Well okay, I CAN, but I can’t say the NAME of the show. Or at least, I’m not supposed to. See, it was one of the free shows in the Ottawa U 4th years director series, and the shows were free because…well, it’s a legal thing, a rights thing, and I’m not supposed to name certain names (although I have TOTALLY done so on this site in the past…apologies if anyone ever gets sued over it!!). But the names I CAN use are ones like Emily Carvell, who directed the water-themed show in question, that starred the titanic and talented trio of Lily Sutherland, Cory Thibert and Tony Adams (those last two lads from local theatre upstart brigade MAY CAN theatre…you maybe heard of’em). The play, by someone I’ll only refer to as Danny-Boy, was a wonderfully wordy and powerful punch of a show, and Emily set it up absolutely gorgeously down in the depths of Studio Leonard-Beaulne. Lily Sutherland was all grace and mystery as our enigmatic host for the odd proceedings, and Cory and Tony…oh, boys. I know how much the lads think of Danny-Boy, I do, so I do not speak lightly when I say they made him their bitch with this performance. Absolutely NAILED it. This was one of the best hours in Ottawa Theatre this year (and the first part of one of the best nights in Theatre I’ve EVER had, followed immediately by my first viewing of NOVEMBER, followed by Crush Improv’s SPOTLIGHT ON… show. Awesome). The May Can boys are only getting better, Lily Sutherland matched them all the way thru, and Emily has shown she’s got some serious director chops. The future’s in good hands, folks.
LAST THOUGHTS: No, not LAST-last thoughts…things aren’t that grim with me yet, folks. Okay, I’m coming up this week on a Douglas Adams birthday that I’ll almost guaranteed be spending at work, and later at home alone with the borrowed cat. And okay, my few-and-far-between ‘dates’ this year have been so platonic I’ve earned an honorary philosophy degree (get it?). But to the petunias* with that! I’ve got some shit goin’ on…I’m working on a short play, for New Theatre Ottawa’s upcoming 2nd Annual EXTREMELY SHORT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL in April at Arts Court! Submission deadline is December 31st, and I’m going in this year. My piece is called MISSY DOESN’T LIKE YOU, which is sort of a character study/prequel piece inspired by a longer Fringe show I want to complete later, MISSY VS.DINOSAURS. You know you want to see it. Also, this Wednesday I’ll be volunteering at the GCTC again for THE NUMBER 14 in a recently added matinee show, which you should come to. Technically it’s the day BEFORE my birthday, but I’m calling it my birthday because I’ll have WAY more fun that day than I will on the actual day. So come see the show, and let’s go buy comix afterwards and then have food and drink. Whaddaya say? I know what I say…peace, love and soul,
The Visitor (and Winston)
*Petunia is a word I find hysterical these days. I’m trying to work it in as much as I can. It’s a midlife crisis thing, just go with it.