Well, I always said I’d restart this blog if only I was sent into forced social isolation at home due to a burgeoning global pandemic. We all remember me saying that, right?
So over here at our pad, me and Caitlin the Otter are on about day 5 of proper home isolation, or quarantine-lite, or whatever we’re calling it. We’re still just sort of fumbling and puttering about, trying to figure out a new routine, doing yoga in between snacks and naps and episodes of MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA, as we all wonder what the world is going to look like on the other side of this. Hopefully more puppies and fewer billionaires. That would be nice. And if AL Connors just keeps doing his Twitch DJ sets all the time, forever, this will maybe all be worth it (not really, of course, but holy hannah are his sets ever fantastic, tune the F in you lot).
FRINGING IN THE TIME OF CORONA. So by now most of my theatre-type readers (which is pretty much all of my type of readers, at least back when I had readers) will know that the London Fringe Festival has rescheduled for the fall, and the beloved Orlando Fringe has, sadly, made the hard decision to cancel for 2020. It’s harsh reality, at a time when harsh is just about the only type of reality any of us are getting. Myself, I was lucky enough to sneak into this year’s Ottawa Fringe lineup, and have been not-as-busily-as-I-should working on an updated, expanded script of my solo storytelling show UNZIPPING THE CAT to roll out this June. We all still have fingers tightly crossed that the show will go on, and Pat Gauthier and company have been terrific about keeping us artists updated with the ever-changing landscape, new deadlines, easier dropout guidelines, the works. It’s a crazy difficult task managing a festival this size at the best of times and, spoiler alert, these be not the best of times.
I would just personally like to say THANK YOU to Pat, Kevin, Amanda, Ted, Brit, Claudia, everyone. You are doing great, and I super look forward to seeing you soon, failing to pack my houses, and just generally having a wicked fun Fringe with you.
But if, IF, if you do have to make the decision that you absolutely do not want to make, the one you’re praying not to be forced to make…if you do have to make that call…then I want you to know that we understand. And we love you. We love the absolute shit out of you. And we will continue to support you and have your backs, the same way you have all of ours. And we will keep that up, forever. Because that’s the only way this whole mad thing works. And that was very schmoopy, so here’s the Monkees:
COMIX. Because I need to talk about something else besides how much I love Fringe, and my obsessive indulgence of comic books is on my mind of late. I recently hit up a local comic show, probably getting it in just under the pandemic-wire, and loaded up with goodies like the first issue of HOWARD THE DUCK, and a war comic about a gorilla who thought he was a marine. Genius.
But those heady days of binge-buying funnybooks in person are suddenly a thing of the past! Comic stores are shutting their doors along with everyone else. My local COMET COMICS was one of the first to close, since they reside inside of Black Squirrel books on Bank, who now double as an eatery. Opened up by Heather, a former employee at the late, lamented Silver Snail Ottawa, this is Comet’s second location on Bank, and I’ve been frequenting her wunnerful shop since day one. She’s now in the process of working out the kinks on a remote pay/delivery service to get people the superhero fix they need in times of crisis like this, and I couldn’t be happier to partake. Comic shops, like theatres, are one of those businesses pretty much on the permanent edge of oblivion, so every bit of help in a time like this counts. So get in touch and order some comic books, nerds! Support the arts, and the folks in trenches fighting to get the arts to you.
SO WHAT’S NEXT? I guess maybe I’m sorta back to writing this blog, or at least for as long as I’m wildly bored at home thanks to the end of the world? No new theatre to review, so who knows what I’ll talk about (although did you catch BARE when it was at the Gladstone? My man Yang Chen gonna be a superstar, I’m calling it here and now). As for my own self, I wish I could say I’ve been wildly productive during my first few days of hibernation, but it hasn’t been the case thus far. My plan for that Fringe script to write itself has, oddly, not been a success. Hopefully, with the writing of this bit of nonsense, I start turning my own corner on that note. At the very least, the Otter and I are thankful to be stuck in this together. She used the pandemic as an excuse to finally make banana bread out of the 1200 black bananas in our freezer (it was worth it, that shit was yummy). I tried my hand at spring rolls, might make a dorky stab at bread, and made her watch FLASH GORDON, which can only be a good thing. Have been entertaining ideas for content on this thing during the crisis…would anyone be interested in partaking in a self-taped, multiple performer version of HAMLET, hosted on this blog? Maybe one of the less ponderous ones? I dunno, I’m just spitballing. Maybe I’ll start it off next entry, and see what y’all think. If, of course, anyone actually reads this. I’m off to ponder the imponderables, and maybe watch the dvd extras on that Flash Gordon disc. Peace, love and soul, gang, now more than ever,
Kevin and Caitlin (and Winston, somewhere…)