Have I mentioned recently how bummed I am that I missed SIX: AT HOME back at the 2012 Ottawa Fringe? Because I AM. It was like, practically the ONLY show I missed that year, and it went on to win every single Prix Rideau Award ever that year (note: this may be an exaggeration). Who were these creative fiends at Zopyra Theatre, and why wasn’t I allowed to see how cool they were???
Well, of course, lots of the folks from that show are still around and creating like mad…and lucky me, the artistic director of Zopyra, Emma Zabloski, is back in town this summer after relocating to Victoria with a brand new show, this time flying solo on stage. And no, not literal flying, though if you’ll pardon the cheese your heart may just soar for a good long while during this production. Emma’s one-woman show KEEPER tells the tale of the inside of her own head, as we’re given a peek behind the mental curtains to visit with the keeper of Emma’s memories, who bears a striking resemblance to Emma herself (as she would, right?). Emma’s Keeper is a flighty sort, prone to playing goofily with items from the piles of memories cluttering her workspace. And once she notices the audience, she’s all aflutter to show off her memory skills, and she has plenty of uses for us along the way.
Amidst the show’s very playful audience interaction, the Keeper is forced on occasion to leap into a sudden memory that gets called up (Emma is at a family reunion, you see, so they start coming fast and furious at one point), bringing us deeper into Emma’s life, and lowly revealing just why it is we’re all there. Kathleen Greenfield, director of LITTLE ORANGE MAN is credited with some dramaturgy on this one and it shows, and happily Emma Zabloski is more than talented and enchanting enough to make the magic of this production real for everyone in the room. This is definitely one of my fav’rits so far at the Fringe this year: simple and mesmerizing, heartwarming and imaginative, and if you’re lucky there just might be pierogies too. The show takes place in the nosebleed section of the Ottawa Fringe, studio 311, along with OCCUPY ME. The companies have joined up to create the Yogi Pierogi lounge down the hall, should you care to double-bill your tower climb! And trust me…this show is wort the climb. Peace, love and soul,
Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)