I know, I know…you never thought it’d be back. You HOPED it’d never be back. But you can’t keep a good Foofarah down! Also, it’s Monday, I haven’t been posting much lately and I’m kinda bored. FEEL THE LOVE!!!
Lots to get to, especially as it’s been about two fuckin’ years since I bothered doing one of these, but as always, first things first…what’s going on in Ottawa Theatre this week?? Well, we’ve got MY BRILLIANT DIVORCE at the Gladstone. HUFF at the NAC studio. CORPUS at Arts Court Theatre. ALBERTINE EN CINQ TEMPS at the NAC Theatre. LE PROJET TURNADOT at Studio Leonard-Beaulne. MAURITIUS at Ottawa Little Theatre. YOUNG LADY IN WHITE (a reading) at Arts Court Studio. And THE WEDDING POOL at the Avalon Studio. It’s a good full and fun week, folks, and I plan to hit at least 4 of these this week. And once I see them, I’ll have shows to write about! But in the meantime, I got other stuff to say. Read on if you will!
ALIX’S LAB(AN): I recently finished up a three-evening workshop, under the tutelage of that most amazing of superwomen, Alix Sideris. I’ve been blessed to know miss Alix for some time now, and had been very, very much looking forward to her being one of my instructors in my second year at theatre school. But, well, that didn’t play out like expected, so I jumped at this next-best-thing opportunity, when she offered this intensive workshop on Laban. For those not in the know, Laban is a sort-of theory of physical theatre created by dancer and architect Rudolf Laban back in the day. It’s intriguing and demanding and exhausting, and I really should have booked some time off work around it, but in I dove anyways. Happily I was surrounded by good folks, each far more talented and beautiful than I, who lent me their inspiration for the duration of the ‘shop.
Day one got us all into playing with some of the opposite motions that seemed to excite Rudolf so much…pushing and pulling, falling and rising, high and low, heavy and light, direct and indirect, bound and unbound, etc. All the while we were encouraged to play with a monologue we had been instructed to have ready, to see how the different modalities affected how the text came out. I dug falling and rising the most, even if my butt is still sore from a few of my more excitable falls.
Day two we got into a little ‘circles of speech’ territory, which gave my classmate Kathryn ‘Laban Mouse’ Reeves a big giddy smile. The three circles of speech range from 1st (inward), 2nd (conversational), and 3rd (outward). It’s cool, as the 1st and 3rd are both essentially rhetorical, but for completely different reasons. Our play this day ranged from shouting like lunatics to the heavens at the top of our lungs, to shriveled, fetal balls hugging the walls, whispering to ourselves. It was a trip. Then we got back into Laban proper and met some of the ‘characters’ of the technique, like the Puncher (who is goddamned tiring), and the Floater (or was that day 3? I was awfully tired after the Puncher).
Day three started with me getting a good deal more intimate with Nick Amott than I had ever planned (not complaining), then playing with a few more Laban ‘characters’, most notably the Wringer. This involves deliberately and painfully contorting yourself on the ground like a dishtowel being wrung out, and I highly recommend it to everyone. After a bit more play we had some time to work on our monologues again before actually resenting them to everyone, using a little of what we had learned. Then Alix got into it, doling out some awesome directorial flourishes to bring even more out of us. For my part, I ended up a drunken Iago having a loud session at the pub with my boys, while glaring Desdemona down across the room. Many thanks to Madeleine Hall for playing along on that one.
It was an intense and VERY emotional three days…Laban work like this doesn’t allow for much to be held back, and the day after it was all I could do to not burst into spontaneous tears on my brunch shift at work. I was inspired, however, and I feel like I got about a month’s work of theatrical instruction in less than half a week. But eternal thanks to Alix Sideris for conducting this I hope to Hell there’s another one coming soon, and next time…time off work for SURE. And epsom salts. LOTS of epsom salts. Again, ouch. The best kind of ouch.
AWARDS: I was so beat up and woozy after my Laban workshopping, plus regular old work and an evening volunteering with Vacant House Theatre, I just could not make myself spend another night doing anything but going to bed early. So it was with some regret that I passed on this year’s PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS GALA…something I was initially supposed to be performing in (long story), but scheduling conflicts boggled that. Still, I would have liked to have seen the show, and I hear it was a swell evening all around. Looking at some of the photos swirling around the net from the night, it’s likely just as well that me and my ugly mug stayed home, because people was dolled UP, yo. Also, apparently some awards got doled out somewhere along the line:
My old pals at Evolution and MiCasa Theatre cleaned up, with lots of well-deserved love for the amazing HROSES: AN AFFRONT TO REASON, winning for AL Connors’ great sound design, Katie Swift’s great acting, and Emily Pearlman’s great directing. The WE GLOW gang got a nice collection too, with wins for Brad Long’s smashing acting, as well as a best original creation nod. Again, so well-earned.
Best overall productions went to Same Day Theatre’s IN THE NEXT ROOM (THE VIBRATOR PLAY) and Theatre la Catapulte’s IK ONKAR. I sadly missed that production, as my French theatre habits are a little down in the numbers recently. But at least I did catch FOOL FOR LOVE, which picked up the Franco nod for best male performance for Yves Turbide. Plenty of other amazing people won well-deserved awards…Melanie Karin, Magali Lemele, Lissa Leger, David Whiteley, Tina Goralski, Caroline Yergeau…there are full lists out there, but you’re probably way cooler than me and were at the gala anyhow. Much love to all the nominees, attendees, organizers, and a special shoutout to my fellow OTS orphans who did end up performing that night…send me some pictures, and I’ll post’em right here if ya like!
#VISI4IUM: And what better reason to resurrect the Foofarah, however briefly this lasts, but to pimp the upcoming 4th Anniversary Foofarah LIVE! Coming on Sunday June the 1st downstairs at the Clocktower Bank street, this will be the event that 4 years of dull-witted bloggery have been leading up to, and hopefully it won’t be the disappointment you’re rightfully expecting. But HOW COULD IT BE? Seriously, have you seen the talent I somehow talked into being a part of this thing already? I feel like I just personally assembled the Avengers over here. Check it out…we got Tony Adams and Tess McManus teaming up, as well as Cory Thibert and Mado Manseau, because I couldn’t bear it if all of May Can weren’t there for this special evening. Them AND Little Green Hat? That’s a show right there.
But there’s MORE! OTS keener that I am, there’s plenty of classmates and alumni on hand to entertain. Hannah and Jodi of Pretty Ugly productions will be there, as well as Alexa and Phil from Loose Cannons Collective, both I think performing previews of their upcoming Fringe shows! Plus Nick Fournier (aka Nick Fuckin’ Wade), goin’ solo which is gonna be amazing. AMAZING.
And two of my fantastic Laban Workshop-mates round out the current bill…Madeleine Hall has graciously agreed to remount her fantastic final Vocal Masque for the evening, and Derbygirl extraordinaire Nancy Kenny will be doing…something! It’ll be great!! (it actually will be, trust me)
And then there’s me. I suppose since it’s my damn blog and all, I have to do SOMEthing at my own party. Well, I’m beating that by doing TWO somethings. I mentioned ‘vocal masques’ above, which is OTS speak for a performnace piece we had to do at the end of semester. I’ll be remounting the one piece I ever managed to get out in my short time there, a little ditty (silent, despite the word ‘vocal’ in the descriptor) I call The Flower. And then, because I’m buts, I’ll be debuting what WOUDL have been my 2nd semester masque, going by the few groundrules I ever was told about it. Those are: 5 minutes long. Solo. Spoken, but with text culled from 3 different published plays, strung together in a single narrative. I have my script ready, and there may be a prize for anyone who can guess the 3 sources I used. I’m starting to get nervous about the whole thing, actually…thank goodness I’ve just brought Rebecca Laviolette on board as official Foofarah Wrangler for the event! With her help, the party just might actually happen after all. Stay tuned!
CROWDFUNDER OF THE WEEK: Because who knows, maybe I’ll keep doing these again! Smooth Tim Oberholzer, longtime friend and fav’rit of the Visitorium, had himself a bit of a show at the Gladstone recently. You may have heard of it, or even just heard it if you were standing within ten blocks of the theatre, because HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH rock loud and hard. It was a short, micro-run from his newly minted Vanity Project Productions, a labor of love, and also one of the best, most exciting and absolutely picture-perfect shows Ottawa is gonna see this year. And it’s not just the Foofarah that is making a comeback, folks, because this show too is gonna happen again. This October, like Superman and Batman before him/her, Hedwig Returns! By popular demand…hell, even the people who SAW it are demanding a remount…Tim and the band will be back to rock the capitol in this brilliant fucking show, that is absolutely a game-changer for Tim Oberholzer. This is a take-it-on-the-road-and-get-famous kinda show, and you gotta, GOTTA catch it while you can. But Hedwig isn’t the best with finances, and needs a little help. See your way to spotting a measly 25 buck to the fundraising campaign, and you’ll secure your seat for the remount! That’s as good a deal as anyone needs. Help make this magic happen, folks…seriously, Montreal WISHES they were cool enough to have this show in their town. Click the link, and do the right thing: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hedwig-and-the-angry-inch-returns-to-ottawa#home
Well, that’s all I got for tonight folks…I have to make a bowl of soup and finish watching IRON MAN 2. Hope you enjoyed the return of the Foofarah, and I’m gonna try and keep it coming at least for this month, in the runup to the anniversary show. So as always, good people of the internet, this has been Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston). Highwaymen…play me out: