The New Zoo(fest) Preview

All aboard  for the NEW ZOO PREVIEW!  And for those of you too damnably young, here’s the source of that hilarious play on words:

Christ, that was terrifying.  Where was I..?  Oh yeah, I was about to yammer a bit about a theatre/music festival in Montreal, the epic ZOOFEST that’s already underway and continues until the 28th.  There’s a whole merry whack of programming on the go, and it looks like tremendous fun all around.  But I’ll admit that I’ve never been to Zoofest, and am not going this year either, so listen up because I know what I’m talking about! No, really! Because it’s time for…



#1: THE BIRDMANN IN THE EVENTS OF MOMENTOUS TIMING.  Because it’s the goddamn Birdmann, who is indeed a man like no other.  Caught him in Victoria two years past, and you can’t duplicate madness like this.  At Cabaret du 4e du Monument-National.

Cameryn Moore...pic by Caleb Cole.
Cameryn Moore…pic by Caleb Cole.

#2: SLUT (R)EVOLUTION.  I first caught Cameryn Moore a few years back at the Ottawa Fringe Festival with her show-stopping PHONE WHORE, a show no one who has seen will ever forget. She’s one of the most unique and fearless performers around on the theatre circuit, and this year she returned to my town as a last-minute addition to Ottawa Fringe with a newer show, SLUT (R)EVOLUTION…and folks, Cameryn Moore has upped her already considerable game.  A high stakes, no punches pulled sprint through Cammy’s sexual beginnings…steamy, outrageous, and gloriously unapologetic.  See it.  At les Katacombes.


#3: LET’S START A COUNTRY.  Full confession…I have never seen this show.  Further information…I suck for not having seen it.  Garnering raves and applause every time it appears, the latest incarnation of this show from Gerard Harris, Shane Adamczak and Holly Gauthier-Frankel features secession from Canada and the ground-up creation of a brave new country.  Every NIGHT, folks.  I wish I weren’t stuck in Ottawa for this one, so you all have to see it for me.  Deal?  And say hi to Shane for me!  At Theatre la Chapelle.


#4: UNDERBELLY.  Jayson McDonald is one of my theatre heroes…his BOAT LOAD at my very first Fringe in 2008 rocked my notions about what acting was, and especially about how fun 1-man shows could be.  And when I finally saw his celebrated GIANT INVISIBLE ROBOT, it was easy to see what the hype was about.  But with his fantastic new show UNDERBELLY, inspired by the life and words of beat icon William Burroughs, he’s shattering people’s ideas of what ‘a Jayson McDonald show’ can be.  A masterpiece of a script and incredible performance, no fucking fooling. At Caberet du 4e du Monument-National.


#5: ROLLER DERBY SAVED MY SOUL.  Saving my hometown hero Nancy Kenny for last (and perfectly numbered, as I just saw this one-woman show of hers for, yes, the fifth time this past week during a special pre-zoofest performance).  I’ve known and admired the Kenny ever since I saw her show NO EXIT UPSTAGE in 2009 at Ottawa Fringe, and she’s consistently been one of my fav’rit local actors ever since. She recently won best drama at Fringe for her criminally underseen French translation of DOLORES, but she’s probably best know these days for her laugh out loud, pop culture rollercoaster solo show ROLLER DERBY SAVED MY SOUL.  The story of timid housegeek Amy and her tentative adventures into the world of derby, RDSMS has already been embraced by local Rollergirls, and I expect no less in Montreal.  You’re gonna love this, Montreal.  At Cafe Cleopatre.

There’s doubtless much, much more that you also should not miss…Hell, I just realized I forgot to mention DIE ROTEN PUNKTE!I hear great things about the fest every passing day, and curse my not-being-there-ness more and more.  I think we need another theatre festival in Ottawa for July/August, dagnabbit, I’m forming a committee!  In the meantime, for all you with Montreal access…get to the Zoo!  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

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