Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Night in Marchvember

In Theatre, Uncategorized on March 14, 2018 at 11:31 pm

Right, I’m just gonna ease on back into this…roll the shoulders, adjust the chair, dust off the keyboard (I bet all the cool, hip bloggers don’t even USE keyboards, probably just dictate to their write-a-bots…no, don’t think that way! Be positive! Mind your problematic goddamn tone, you fool! Onwards!) and just go for it. Write a thing.  Deep breath, and…

So hey, Theatre! It’s a chock full week and month here in suddenly snowy-again Ottawa, and tonight was my night to hop on good old #14 and swing by the Gladstone Theatre in little Italy. A late but very welcome addition to their crazily full roster was up to bat, and it was one I wouldn’t have missed for a hot plate of cookies, Marie Jones’ A NIGHT IN NOVEMBER, performed by Pierre Brault. Yes, a solo Pierre Brault show! Maybe the closest thing to a theatrical sure thing this city will ever know.



But I must be objective! Nothing is a sure thing. And, hey, this isn’t a reg’lar PB show…he didn’t create this one like his beloved classics BLOOD ON THE MOON or PORTRAIT OF AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN, rather it is a piece penned by Irish playwright Marie Jones. Ottawa audiences should remember her from fairly recent shows of hers, STONES IN HIS POCKETS and FLY ME TO THE MOON, both from Seven Thirty Productions I believe. She’s a solidly acclaimed authour and crafted ‘A Night in November’ in 1994, based on true events. It follows the troubled mind of one Kenneth McAllister, a modest dole clerk in Belfast. Ostensibly enjoying his dull but trouble-free life (he just got accepted into the local golf club, huzzah!), something starts to go askew for him when, on the titular evening in November, he is forced to accompany his elderly, chain-smoking stepdad Ernie to a football match (Soccer, for any American readers who are here for reasons I will never understand) between Ireland and…Ireland? The Republic of Ireland? Sorry, here I will pause to admit that the intricacies of the internecine strife affectionately known as ‘the troubles’ still baffles me, a perennial slipwit, to no end. I’m not even honestly sure if I used the word ‘internecine’ correctly just now. I have a wikipedia page open-tabbed, and am trying to learn. Baby steps.  Right, right…Northern Ireland, IRA…it’s all starting to sound familiar!  Terrible, but familiar.

Anyhoo, the match devolves into a violently ugly showdown between two warring factions, with Protestants hurling vile epithets at Catholics, evoking mass murders with demented glee, and forcing a would-be bystander like Kenneth to play along, if only out of fear for his own safety. But from that point on, he just can’t look at his world the same way. What side he’s on, what country he claims allegiance to, even what love he has for his wife is put to the test. It puts Kenneth on a path he never saw coming, and which the audience probably won’t either.

It’s a raucous, human and political play. Dealing with nationalistic racism intended for a different generation but all-too pitifully relevant today. At least a dozen characters pass by in the course of the runtime, every one played by Pierre, who is absolutely in his element under those conditions. Watching him transition from one player to the next, conversing with himself with seemingly effortless ease, is always a giddy delight. His replaying of the football match, seething with bigotry, hatred, manic fervor and fear, is a palpable thrill, even as Kenneth’s ill-advised political outburst to a home full of party guests left the whole theatre dead silent. Terrific and exciting stuff, even for diehard Brault fans. And their use of the leftover setpieces from Tototoo’s THE NORMAL HEART..? Just magic.

So here I sit, at home at the computer, sipping a bit of Jameson’s and listening to Clannad for inspiration, and hoping this measly missive will convince another bum or two into the Gladstone seats for the next few nights before the brief run finishes on, of course, St.Patrick’s Day. You’re gonna want to be able to say you saw this, gang. And hey, you support Indie Theatre too! Kind of a win/win. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin R


In Uncategorized on January 4, 2018 at 3:33 pm

About 20 years ago now, give or take, I was working as a cook in a so-so Italian restaurant in the Byward Market. One evening after work, a bunch of us cooks and servers alike, headed out for a few drinks at the grand old music venue Zaphod’s. We were having a few drinks, having a good time, when I spied one of the ladies I worked with and made a Terrible (capitol T) decision.

I decided, in my lackwit brain, that it would be a pretty ‘cool’ thing if I just hauled off and slapped her on the behind. I’d seen guys do that in movies, and they were usually the ‘cool’ guys, right? So I did it. I slapped her behind. She glared at me, but idiot me still did not get the message. I drank a bit more, a few minutes passed…and I DID IT AGAIN!!! Same hand (mine), same behind (hers), same utter lack of thought process worth a damn. I was being the ‘bad boy’, I thought, just ‘one of the guys’, like us men are supposed to be. I had, it can be told, learned some stupid, stupid lessons in my life up to that point.

Also at this point, the lady in question, who had now been assaulted twice by self-appointed ‘good guy’ me, turned to me and (oh thank christ she was a smart, and strong and fierce individual) looked me right in my beady eyes and said, plain and unmistakeable, ‘Kevin, you know that’s not okay’.

I apologized. I felt like shit. I realized I had done very, very wrong and, to this day, I still feel like garbage any time I think of this memory. I learned a much wiser lesson that day, and I hope I’ve lived by it ever since. I apologize again to the lady in question, who should never have had to be my teacher that night.  And yes, I mentioned I had been drinking, but just for scene-setting purposes. Being drunk ain’t an excuse for anything but a hangover, and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to get away with something. I was a piece of crap that night, no excuses or caveats. I hope to heck I’ve been a much better person since, and have tried to be.


Still, Zaphod’s was a pretty cool joint, despite my stupidity, amirite?

Why this sudden urge to vent my sins on this practically defunct chunk of blog? Because it is horrifyingly apparent, day in and day out in this world, that SO many of my fellow ‘men’ have similar if not worse mistakes in their past, but chose not to learn the obvious lesson that presented itself. The incredibly simple lesson is ‘don’t sexually assault women (or anyone)’ and yeah, the assaulter on my wee mind today is Albert Schultz of Toronto’s Pepper Theatre (formerly Soulpepper…they get the ‘Soul’ back when this creep is excommunicated forever and ever).

The creep in question, who I’m sure would be considered a very fine individual by Donald Trump, has been publically accused by multiple women of being a serial sexual assaulter.  He has vowed to fight the allegations vehemently, and just FUCK OFF already. I don’t know his excuses or caveats and no one should care. Scumbags like him make my beloved and joyous Theatre a scary place, a dangerous place for so many of its practitioners, a place they don’t feel welcome instead of the wonderful thing it should be…a goddamn STAGE. Open to all, creative and inviting. I hate that these thugs are everywhere, infesting every cranny of this entity Theatre that has meant to much to my life, sickening it from within. I’m an admittedly small potato in the Canadian Theatrical stew, scarcely a homefry, so maybe there ain’t a heullva lot I can do to help. All I can do, at the moment, is continue to abide by the terrible lesson I learned long ago, and start calling out the others, when I can, however I can, maybe just like this, who I see ignoring those same lessons.

And Patricia, Kristin, Diana, Hannah…I don’t know any of you either, and you don’t know me, but of COURSE I believe you. Anyone who doesn’t is the enemy. Anyone who doesn’t still hasn’t learned their lesson. Maybe they don’t want to, I can’t say. I can only add mine to the chorus of voices shouting for Pepper Theatre (no kidding, you don’t get it back yet) to do the glaringly obviously right thing and use this terrible moment to learn a lesson yourselves, and make a change for the better. Make your Theatre a Theatre again. A stage, not a trap.

And just once again, for the record..FUCK Albert Schultz. Fuck that guy hard.

Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid

So this is how this blog makes a comeback, huh? Sheesh. Dramatic much. Next time, comic book movie talk!

Those Girls

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2017 at 11:51 am

What’s in theatres this week? Who knows! I’m so lazy and confused. Well, okay, I know SOME things.

Like over at Arts Court, the current and third season of TACTICS is hitting its third and final week! Which means workshop presentations galore, reading 1984 because it’s depressingly relevant, and of course the last week of their mainstage show GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! from Cart Before the Horse Theatre.


Those of you in the know, know that CbtH is the company spearheaded by human dynamo Megan Carty. She’s appeared with the company a few times now at the Fresh Meat Festival, and is returning to Tactics after stunning last season with PERFECT PIE (pretty easily my outstanding fav’rit of the 2nd season). This latest show is part 3 in an ambitious long-term theatrical project that started with 2014’s SHAPE OF A GIRL, continued in Judith Thompson’s PERFECT PIE, and now, GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! will potentially complete the saga. It’s more of a triptych than a true trilogy, technically, as these are 3 disparate works from different writers, but thematically linked by the common thread of bullying, a prime target of Carty’s.

cbth 17

This latest is a show that was written by Greg MacArthur in response to a variety of horrific real-world events and continues to look at the blight of bullying, specifically among young women. Directed by Gabbie Lazarovitz and Mariah Horner, who both co-star in the show as well along with Carty, Sam Dietrich and Maryse Fernandez. A couple of new names for me there, but always adore seeing Gabbie Laz and Sam Dietrich do pretty much anything.


Perfect Pie was my fav’rit bit of Tactics last season, and Shape of a Girl was a stunner back at the Avalon, so I have high expectations for this latest Cart production. And, having now had the delightful opportunity to actually work with Megan Carty over the winter, I can tell ya she’s a passionate creator and always a joy to see on stage. And in a show SHE’S passionate about, like this one..? You’re in for a jolt, gang. CBtH shows stay with you, and don’t shy away from tough portrayals of tough issues and bitter truths. And quite frankly, not a lot of creators WANT to tackle things like that (I certainly don’t…brrr!), especially the very personal and toxic subject of systemic female bullying that Carty and gang tackle with relish. You’ll squirm, you’ll cringe, and you’ll be very glad you did.

And joining it at Tactics this week are a host of workshop-version performances of new shows, from thee likes of Evolution Theatre, Amelia Griffin and Tim Ginley. Also food! What more can ya ask? Go go go to GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! Se ya there (if you’re going on Thursday, anyways). Peace, love and soul,

Kevin R

Monday Foofarah! – Apr 10 2017

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Wow made it for two in a row of these! And barely, as I’m fighting off a bit of a plague just now and can hardly keep my eyes open. To business!


VIGILANTE from Catalyst Theatre, at the NAC. Based on a Stompin’ Tom song, I believe.


LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS from Theatre Kraken, at the Gladstone. Little shop, Big show.

1979 at the GCTC. A rare venture into political theatre for Michael Healey. HAHA JK HE DOES IT ALL THE TIME!! But, I mean, see it. He’s probably pretty good at it by now, right? And speaking of ’79…

ON THE STAGES. So, VIGILANTE. Got to check this one out with the Sweetie last week, and we were both pretty psyched about it. It is, as you’ve accurately heard, a rockin’, raucous good time from the cats at Catalyst, featuring a scorching original soundtrack that you WILL be disappointed to find you can’t buy on the way out of the theatre. Good performances and wicked costumes help tell the somewhat amped-up true story of the infamous Donnelly clan from out Lucan-way, and of course it’s especially nice to see good ole Kris Joseph back in town, all Spider-Jerusalemed up as Michael Donnelly (as well as one of the nastier villains of the piece). A violent, occasionally harrowing but always exciting piece of original art based on Canadian history. Check it out!


Just a nice, normal family.

Also, ALSO, got out to the latest installment in the Ottawa fringe Festival’s anniversary #Fringe20 series. Another double-bill this time around, with Black Sheep Theatre’s ROOT OF ALL SQUARES teamed up for AN ADULT EVENING OF SHEL SILVERSTEIN from Third Wall. A good time of an evening indeed, as thee real-life double bill of Ray Besharah and Laura Hall are ALWAYS a treat to watch, and their scout-cosplayed turn in Sterling Lynch’s absurdist look at economic theory was a delight.


Then the 3rd Wall gang (comprising onstage of Attilla Cleman, Sarah Finn, Katarina Fiallos, Andrew Moore and Norah Paton) jam the stage for a rapid-fire series of mini-plays from legendary children’s (and Playboy) writer Silverstein, ranging from good deals on the street to bag lady genesis. And while some of his material has aged, perhaps, not as gracefully as other bits, it was a solid show with great staging, performances and sound. The World’s Best Dad bit may have been my fav’rit.

Coming up for #Fringe 20 in May is the legendary Pierre Brault in the even more legendary BLOOD ON THE MOON. Ya now you got to get this one in, if only as part one of your Pierre Brault double-bill when PORTRAIT OF AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN returns for a run at the Gladstone that same month!


BOOKAGE. Doing plenty of the old ‘reading’ lately thanks to the sweetie dragging me back into the Public library for the fist time sine they started using those new-fangled computing devices. Recently polished off the amazing and enthralling HARPO SPEAKS, which is of course the autobiography of Adolphe ‘Harpo’ Marx, a natural draw for a silent clown like me. With in-depth tales from the days of Vaudeville to Hollywoood hijinks, to kibbitzing with the fabled members of the Algonquin Club, touring Russia, hanging around San Simeon and finally adopting a loving family with his beloved wife, found in his forties (see? It does happen!). It’s damn terrific, and I highly recommend it (as well as his mouthier brother Groucho’s various books, also must-reading). Now moving onto a more modern tale, this time of the great Steve Martin in his BORN STANDING UP: A COMIC’S LIFE looking back at his stand-up days. Oddly, his book starts in the mid-60’s, precisely where Harpo’s leaves off.

Also have knocked out another post at my sister site THE BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE where I talk, mostly to myself, about Valiant comics, the thing I love besides theatre. And the sweetie isn’t a ‘thing’, which is why I didn’t mention her. She’s off tonight doing the Hothouse reading series at Algonquin College, while my sick ass lies in an unceremonious heap in my crumby apartment. Knock ’em dead, babe!

.Oh, and I’m in a Fringe show this June. More on that another day. I is tired. Now let’s all watch the THOR: RAGNAROK trailer and then get some sleeps.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin R

PS Any theatre peeps in town feel like meeting up for coffee some day and teach me how to make a proper theatrical resume.? My skills in resume making are several decades out of date and I have a sinking feeling that mine currently looks like dogshit. Thanks in advance! 😉

PPS  Looks more like THOR: CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS doesn’t it? Still wicked cool tho. Forget I said it.

Monday Foofarah! – Apr 3 2017

In Foofarah, Uncategorized on April 3, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Because I was bored!

I know nobody but my sweet Otter really reads this thing anymore, but quite frankly, that’s enough. Hi Sweetie!!


VIGILANTE at the NAC Theatre, from Catalyst Theatre. The radio is very excited about this show. I kinda am too.

PLAN B at the Gladstone, from Phoenix Players. A first dose of Michael Healey before the GCTC takes their annual crack at him next week.

MARION BRIDGE at Ottawa Little Theatre. MacIvor! ’nuff said.

THE MELVILLE BOYS at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre. If Norm Foster can’t get you out to Kanata, who can??


Ray Besharah and Laura Hall in ROOT OF ALL SQUARES

AN ADULT EVENING OF SHEL SILVERSTEIN from Third Wall and ROOT OF ALL SQUARES from Black Sheep, at Arts Court. The latest 2-bill in honour of #Fringe20 …check it out, or be so square someone might root you!! or something.

…and probably some other stuff!  French stuff probably! ‘Probablement’.


Well, I recently played a little in the yearly OTTAWA THEATRE CHALLENGE hosted by the might Company of Fools, this time over at Arts Court while the NAC 4th stage (their usual venue) was being redecorated in rose petals and elephant tusks, or whatever they’re doing over there. Was hoping the photos being snapped that night by Andrew Alexander would be available to show off here, but so far no soap, so you’ll just have to imagine me in all my red-nosed lack of glory, representing Strange Visitations in the challenge with a 4-minute wordless clown turn, harkening back to my clown training on Manitoulin Island. It was a definite treat to finally appear before an Ottawa audience in full cloune, and it hopefully will not be the last time.



All props to SUZART who took away a much deserved win, and the legendary Rubber Chicken Award, for their piece. Some dandy stuff too by other local gangs like the Fools themselves, 1 Kind 1 Blind, the Improv Embassy and more. It was a funtastic night that raised some cool cash for the actors fund, always a good thing.

XOv2 1

Also, Comix!

What else…well, I finally posted a new post in my long-dormant Valiant Comics’ blog THE BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE, which so far has been perused by literally nobody except my wunnerful Otter, which made my day! 🙂 More to come, because I might as well use this staggering unpopularity of mine to my advantage, amirite? Pro Tip: Head on out to Comet Comics and try and pick up a copy of the brand new XO MANOWAR #1 while you still can…it’s space-action-adventure done right!

And in even more exciting news, the sweetie finally managed to get me to watch, for the first time, the piece of cinema history that is SPACE JAM last night. And while it was no Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it was a silly bit of fun and I’m glad I can scratch it off my list. I am now fully prepared to enjoy the full length Greg Houston show SPACE JAMERATION when it hits Ottawa Fringe this June (remember it from its debut at FRESH MEAT? I sure do!)!

So what’s up for me this week? Hopefully hitting up Vigilante, Shel Silverstein and Root of  all Squares with the Otter, a little bit of standardized patient shenanigans (can I say that?) , hopefully hearing back about some auditions, enjoying the first week of a sober April, maybe seeing a movie even. Though I’ve een a bit addicted to the YouTube of late. If you dig geekspeak, check out the terribly hilarious and charming MR SUNDAY MOVIES, an Aussie-hosted chat channel specializing in comix, video games and the like. Very enjoyable stuff.  Please enjoy their epic trolling of the epically trollable JUSTICE LEAGUE tv movie, seldom seen since its unfortunate birth in the mid 90’s. Hopefully the new movie won’t be (much) worse!

Not much else steam for now…nice talking to you, anyone besides my girlfriend who wandered by here looking for a review of their show!  Haha, weren’t those the days?  I had purpose, and respect, and now I’m just a schnook.  But this seems fun. See ya next Monday!!!  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin R

March 8th, 2017

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm

This old Visitorium has been a little patchwork/schizoid these last few months. Am i reviewing still? Am I just promoting theatre…or my own work? Why is it still here?

Honestly, every time I try and come up with answers to these questions, I just get tired in my brain. So instead of thinking, I’m just gonna write, which is way easier and probably more productive. Let’s just try it shall we?

And what a day to start writing…international Women’s Day! Where to even begin? I suppose where my instincts usually tell me to start…with comic books.


Fun Fact: If you’ve ever lamented that there is no ‘International Men’s Day’; congratulations! You’re part of the problem.


I don’t buy as many comix as I did in my heyday, but feel free to check out FAITH from Valiant comics, written by Jody Hauser and featuring maybe the only plus-sized female superhero headliner, well, ever. Revived from her original incarnation at Valiant in the 90’s, the new Valiant has left the litany of fat-jokes that dogged this character behind and instead embraced her unfaltering optimism, loyalty and flat-out heroism. It’s an unapologetically positive book that deserves much of the accolades its receiving. And check Faith out in the team book HARBINGER RENEGADE as well, because its awesome too.


And of course there’s LUMBERJANES, an epically amazing fantasy-tinged ongoing from Noelle Stevenson about the adventures of an all-girl scout-style troop at a summer camp. With delightfully cartoony art and instantly engaging and diverse characters, this is one for all ages and all hearts. I’ve been collecting the trades, and you should too. Might I suggest, for my Ottawa readers, picking a few of them up at Comet comix at 1167 Bank Street in Old Ottawa South? Owned and run by the fantastic Heather, and she won’t steer ya wrong!

I could go on and on…DOCTOR MIRAGE, SAGA, BITCH PLANET, MS MARVEL…there’s good stuff out there. But I DO have theatre to get to. And I love me some rambling about theatre. I mean, this blog was primarily founded on my unabashed love for the one-woman show. And having already caught one of the best of these, Margo MacDonald’s THE ELEPHANT GIRLS this year, my theatrical ladybar is set nice and high for 2017.

Elephant Girls cred AA

So what’s coming up? Well, tonight I have the honour of catching INFINITY at the NAC Studio, written by Ottawa’s own wunderkind playwright Hannah Moscovitch (or @moscotweets as her close personal friends like me know her on the Twitter). She’ll be back in the newly announced GCTC 2017/18 season. I’ll dig into many of the new season announcements in another post, but happy to report there seems to be plenty of female representation across the board, at least at first glance.

For my own part, I’ve been blessed to have some simply astonishing and talented ladies helping to prop me and Strange Visitations up during our 3-year existence. Like repeat director Jodi Morden, soon to be seen back at the Ottawa fringe with the fierce Hannah Gibson Fraser in a new project from Pretty Ugly Productions. Or my clown pal Madeleine Hall, also returning to Fringe with a solo project that will quite simply knock your likely mismatched socks off. Also multitalented Rebecca Laviolette and the unstoppable Erin MacDonald, both of whom I would have been lost without.

HG closing

True Theatre Luv.

And I have so many more women in Theatre who I look up to, admire, and continue to be inspired by…Nancy Kenny, Alix Sideris, Michelle leBlanc, Kristina Watt, Martha Ross, Alexis Scott, Gemma Wilcox, Rachel Eugster, Laura Hall, Brooke Cameron, Morro and Jasp, Kirsten Rasmussen, Mind of a Snail, Ingrid Hansen, Jan Irwin, Megan Carty, Catriona Leger, Mary Ellis, Kate Smith, Bronwyn Steinberg, Lisa Zanyk…I could (and probably should) go on. Instead, I’ll just make a special shoutout to my old classmate and theatrical force of nature Kathryn Paige Reeves. The Mouse has a brand new play of her own creation about to take to the stage this April, and I could not be prouder. Don’t think I’m not considering a road trip, Kathryn!

carpe noctem


And hey, it would be quite silly to write up a Women’s Day post without mentioning, nay worshipping, the brilliant, sexy, silly and passionate woman who has allowed me to be a part of her life, my sweetie Caitlin. You make me stronger, you help me grow, and even if I am the Giraffey in our relationship, I promise I’m always looking up to you. Thanks for never giving up on me.



What else? I should mention the incredible book I’m reading right now, found at the library while hunting for the autbiography of Harpo Marx (which I DID find, don’t worry). It’s called I AWAIT THE DEVIL’S COMING by turn of the century flapper-to-be Mary MacLane, and it’s a series of fiery, brilliantly nonconformist diary entries she wrote in Butte, Montana in 1902 at the age of 19. Full of incredible language and razor wit, it’s a thing of terrible dark beauty and I kind of NEED some local young actress to pick it up and adapt it into a 1-woman show. Monica Bradford-Lea, off the top of my head? I’ll help you!

This is an important day, and ever-more important this year with the pussy-grabbing grand wizard down south doing his worst every day (and that’s pretty worst). Keep being positive. Read something a woman wrote, see a play with women, watch a movie directed by a woman, collect a comic starring a woman…and then keep doing that. Because, of course, one day is approximately 364 too few. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin R

PS special shoutout to the bestest ladies of the all, my amazing niecelets Brynn and Clara. Rule the World, gals!!

Brooke & Pierre

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2017 at 12:59 am

I don’t know what it is about today, January 20th 2017, but I have a strong urge to write a blogpost about a world leader with a surname beginning in TRU. Someone charismatic, and known for speaking his mind. A real divisive figure, ya know? And I’m not talking about Justin Trudeau, neither. I’m talking about TRUDEAU. As in Pierre Elliot, the ultimate PM…yeah, no, I wouldn’t waste your precious time talking about that monster down south. You got enough of that on Twitter today (and every day, really).

Fortunate Son that I am, I got a chance to check out the latest at the GCTC, Brooke Johnson’s autobiographical one-woman storytelling epic TRUDEAU STORIES. The stage was sparsely set as I walked in, just a small box set beside a terrifically comfy looking chair. I thought for a moment Jim Jefferies was about to stroll out and do a set


Comedian Jim Jefferies also uses a comfy chair in his stand-up comedy shows. Just to put a point on this completely unnecessary sidebar.

But of course, tonight belonged to the great Brooke Johnson, who took to the stage with a smile and started telling her story through memory, letters, and a very special piece of audio, of her unlikely friendship with the man himself, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Beginning with a chance encounter during her time at the National Theatre School in Montreal back in the 80’s, including an awkward dance in ill-fitting shoes, the show goes on to detail the extraordinary platonic bond that developed between a budding actor and our national enigma, both a playful and sombre figure in this recollection as his legendary head occasionally weighs heavy under the burden of his phantom crown. He may have stopped being PM, after all, but he could never stop being Trudeau.


Not that Brooke Johnson herself isn’t a force in the show…her easy warmth and charm brings the audience in to her story before they even know they’ve been trapped in her storytelling spell. Together with some beautiful direction from Allyson McMackon, the story of not only Brooke and Trudeau, but their odd relationship and his place in the Canadian identity creeps off the stage and into a warm, fuzzy place in the audience’s hearts. The show ends with an appropriate ‘remember where you were’ moment, as the struggle of maintaining so private a friendship with so public a figure comes to its inevitable, emotional conclusion. It’s a satisfying, heartwarming, funny and terribly Canadian piece of work and it made me awful happy to see it. It might even be enough to make you love Justin again. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin R

By the Sword

In Theatre, Uncategorized on December 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Action blockbusters at the movies are a pretty big growth industry these days, and I’ll admit to having partaken of my fill over the years. But why should the Marvel Cinematic universe have ALL the fun?


“All for one and one for all!” – Captain America, probably.

Down at ye olde Ottawa Little Theatre, the gang has thrown their century+ weight behind an All-for-One-and-One-for-All production of Ken Ludwig’s THE THREE MUSKETEERS, based natcherly on the Alexandre Dumas swashbuckler classic. The story follows young up-and-coming swordsman D’Artagnan (Robbie Clement) as he heads to Paris to join the vaunted Musketeer ranks and protect the King and Queen (Jacob Benson and Lindsay Laviolette). Trouble unfolds quickly as our young hero accidentally falls afoul of the titular heroes Aramis, Athos and Porthos (Eze Leno, Ian Gillies and Job Dickey) as well as earning the wrathful eye of the nefarious and power-hungry Cardinal Richelieu (Christopher Glenn).

Of course, D’Artagnan and the heroic trio manage to reconcile, and team up to try and protect the realm against Richelieu and his cadre of killers, including Kyla Gray as the cruel Rochefort and Rebecca Laviolette as the deadly Milady. Toss into the mix an innocent lady in waiting (Katherine Norland) and D’Artagnan’s feisty little sister Sabine (Emily Walsh) plus a mighty ensemble cast, and the recipe for epic adventure is ready to go!


“Avengers Assemble!” – Pic by Maria Vartanova

To say the OLT pulled out all the stops for this show is an understatement. Colossal setpieces, rousing score, gorgeous freaking costumes, projection, fog, swordfight after stellar swordfight, they throw everything in their considerable theatrical arsenal at Dumas’ tale and the end results are a heaping helping of fun and adventure. Clement strikes a solid balance of youthful enthusiasm and derring-do for the anchoring role of D’Artagnan (his scenes with sister Sabine and love interest Constance are quite especially delightful), and the musketeers are as wonderful a bunch of heroes as you could ask for. I was personally thrilled to see fellow OTS alum Kyla Gray returning to the stage, and am happy to say she makes a dandy cutthroat as the smashingly-clad Rochefort. Fellow villainess Rebecca Laviollette steals a good chunk of the show with some frighteningly impressive ass-kicking throughout. And amidst the fights and set pieces (all well done, and only occasionally wearying from sheer volume), solid performances and engaging storytelling abound.

This is a big show, using every inch of the OLT stage and even beyond to make it even larger. Sides, aisles, even spaces outside the theatre all become part of the spectacle in a brash and campy adventure played in deliberately broad strokes by director Stavros Sakiadis. Serious moments are peppered with a much-needed humour that allows the play to laugh at itself instead of sinking into melodrama…not that it shies away from the melodrama when it’s called for. Action, love, honour, betrayal, revenge, treason…it’s got all that good stuff and plenty more. Buckle a swash or two this holiday season, feel like a kid again, or just go ahead and bring the kids. If you want fun…here it is. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid

Unzipping the Cat

In Theatre, Uncategorized on October 3, 2016 at 3:01 pm

So with Ottawa and Vancouver Fringe done for this year…what’s next? What does a ragamuffin bumpkin of a DIY artist like myself do to keep himself busied and out of trouble? Shlepping back to my dreary kitchen job, I suppose, ho hum.

Well, true…but happily there’s one other gig I have to delve into straightaway, and while it’s not kitchen related, it does involve a nice heaping helping of FRESH MEAT. Yes, I’m fortunate enough to have been selected back into the roster for the 5th annual little Festival that didn’t give a fuck! It’s the second time Strange Visitations has made the FM grade…first was back in 2014 when I teamed up with Madeleine Hall and Jodi Morden to create FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING, which just went out West to Vancouver Fringe. So what could I possibly do to follow up that madcap, fast-paced clown adventure?

How about…talk for 20 minutes about a cat?


Basically 20 minutes of this. Photo credit: LOG Creative.

No, wait, come back..! Not just ANY old cat, now, come ON. I mean the legend, the icon, the furball, Winston the Cat his own dearly departed self! Back in April, I was slated to appear in a small fundraiser event, hosted and organized by good guy Nick Amott. I had a piece all set to do, when 2 weeks before hand, the worst happened and poor old Winston had to be put down. A few days after, while drowning my sorrows at the Carleton Tavern, I pulled out my laptop and out poured a 12 minute monologue about our time together, Man and Cat. With a small bit of tweaking, I performed that piece, titled Unzipping the Cat,  on stage at Live on Elgin just ten days later. Now, I know this is a technical violation of the Fresh Meat edict that every piece must be a world premiere, but gimme a break, there were only a dozen people in attendance that night and I’d only had a grief-stricken week to rehearse!

I’m happy to be given the chance to put this piece back onto a stage and give it the time it deserves, and that Winston deserves too. And other than Winston, I’m gonna be well and truly going this one alone. No director, dramaturge, nothing. My tech rehearsal will be a BREEZE. And it’s not that I think I’m so shit-hot I don’t need anybody’s help…my past few Fringe experiences have hammered the exact opposite lesson into my brain, trust me. I just want to keep this piece (I hesitate to call it a ‘show’) as real, and as honest as possible. It’s my own personal experiment with honesty on stage, and we’ll just have to see how that goes. I hope you show up.


The Ghost of Winston COMMANDS YOU!

And if my self-indulgent cat show does NOT excite you then never fear, I’ll be sharing the stage with plenty of WAY more talented people than myself, including Kate Smith, Hayley Robateau and Jordan Moffat, Prix Rideau Award-winners Two Kind Boys and much more! Check out full schedule, lineup and ticket info at the Fresh Meat website, and we’ll see you out thee for the coolest time around.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston…just this once)

The Speed of Fringing

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Back in Ottawa for about a week now…still missing the mountains, wicked sushi and cheaper, more efficient mass transit big time. And definitely missing Fringe, tho the worst of my post-fest ennui has evaporated by now. But this was a particularly special Fringe for me, not only my first visit to Vancouver Fringe, but first time performing in another Fringe Festival to boot. And how did that go down?


lux elle imagery is fine art, editorial, and comercial photography, digital editing work and motion work.

FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING. We (meaning myself, Madeleine Hall and Jodi Morden) opened this weird little silent physical comedy to an unexpected crowd of 60 people on Friday September 9th and then never looked back. And while we never did crack that 60 opening, our houses were always good and I feel safe in saying our trip to Vancouver Fringe was a resounding success. Much lovely feedback abounded, including some from some familiar and friendly faces (thanks again for the surprise visit, Sarah Finn!) With the assistance of our terrific venue tech Phil, the show went off without a hitch 6 for 6, we had a blast every time, and quite frankly are already itching to come back.

As for the future of Speed of Dating, well, we’re definitely hoping to do an Ottawa remount in the months to come, and we’ll keep you posted on that front. The new bits in the show went over great and we can’t wait to show the hometown what we got! Special thanks to the Fresh Meat festival for helping us premiere this one 2 years back, and good luck on the upcoming 5th anniversary edition…and more on THAT in my next post, coming soon.


VANCOUVER FRINGE. Can I just say I love this festival? Granville Island is maybe the perfectest setting for a Fringe that exists on planet Earth (although I did make it out to some of the off-Island venues to, like the historic Cultch and Rio), and we lucked out with damn near perfect weather for the entire time. I managed to catch almost 30 shows while I was there, and for the record that includes:

Space Hippo


I Forgot to Fly Today

Happiness ™

the Ballad of Frank Allen

the Girl who was Raised by Wolverine

Does Not Play Well with Others

the Jupiter Rebellion

In the Trenches

Great Day for Up

Bella Culpa

Curious Contagious

Perpetual Wednesday

Fat Sex

Love is a Battlefield

the Lion the Bitch and the Wardrobe

Frank: to be Frank

Falling Awake

Love, Lust and Lace

Berlin Waltz

Til Death: the Six Wives of Henry VIII



Get Lost Jem Rolls

Cabaret of Bullshit

In the Blue of Evening

Ze: Queer as Fuck

Some AMAZING stuff in there…Vancouver had a seriously stacked deck of talent this Fringe. I count myself lucky anybody found the time to squeeze our little show into their schedule! FALLING AWAKE and BELLA CULPA, a pair of 2-hander physical comedies, were definite highlights and inspirations for me, not to mention the hilarious BALLAD OF FRANK ALLEN that I caught twice. But things were great across the board, even the very setup of the Fringe, setting out from sandwich board village every day to see shows, and meeting back at the open air Fringe bar in the evening (I didn’t realize how MUCH I’d missed an open air Fringe bar, you guys!). Props also to the simple and brilliant Artist Rush Pass system, replacing the occasionally cumbersome password system for this Fringe. And of course, huge thank you to my amazing billet Naomi, who not only kept a roof over my head for the duration, but provided our show with the chairs we needed to go on!  You’re the best!


I guess the view wasn’t so bad, either.

FAV’RIT MOMENTS. Skytrains. Aquabus. Sandwich board village. Lizard-Maaaan. Seagull ate my pizza. If it seems too hard…stop trying. You can’t predict the Heather. Epic dance party. 100 dollar lunch at Queen Elizabeth Park. Tacos at Cats. Sushi Aria. Reunion with Cliff. STU! Crowdsurfing cardtrick. Moths. Dancing with Frank. Popcorn and beer at the Rio. The Berlin Wall comes alive. Closing Night Selfie with Jayson McDonald.


Also, and inappropriately, known as the Giant invisible Selfie.

And maybe my last, fav’rit moment at Vancouver Fringe came on the final night. Sandwich board village had been torn down, last shows were on, we’d closed the day before. A gentle rain was falling across Granville Island, and this dream of a trip was almost done. I took a long, lonely final wander around the place to say goodbye, getting a bit misty-eyed in the misty evening, fully feeling an early post-Fringe depression. Then, as I was passing a small restaurant, a happy couple spilled out not too far from me. They saw me, and one of them immediately shouted “Hey, it’s the Speed Dating guy!” We walked together for a minute, and they told me how much they’d loved the show, and the Fringe, and my frown turned upside down in a flash. To quote one of my fav’rit philosophers in what feels like appropriate timing…the Human Race. Don’t you just love it? Yes I do. It is the only Possible way to cope with it.

Bless ya Vancouver Fringe. I’ll be back. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid