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Posts Tagged ‘snafu dance theatre’

Coming Up in February 2018

In Theatre on January 31, 2018 at 12:51 pm

So it’s February! That cold, cold little month that could. Always a lot more going on thatn you might expect theatrically, and there’s plenty to look forward to this time around. Of course, there’s a few less shows than some of us had been hoping for…February usually sees some action from Algonquin Theatre, and they sadly have vanished from the scene. And on a more specific and personal note, there’s one depressing theatrical elephant in the room that I’d like to vacate right off the top:

KILLER JOE from Chamber Theatre Hintonburg…CANCELLED by the company. This is the show I was set to co-star in with a terrific gang of actors, and had been working on for many months now.  It woulda been fun, but it apparently was not meant to be. Bottom line, if you show up at the Carleton Tavern from the 1st thru 10th, our slated run, expect nothing more beyond the usual rowdiness, quarts of 50 and fine chicken wings. Which, hey glass half-full, amirite?

But don’t worry, theatre fans…plenty of companies also did NOT cancel their shows! More than did, even! Let’s take a look and see what these foolhardy souls have coming your way, shall we?

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WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Hannah Moscovitch to start out your month, and what could be finer? Runs until the 4th.

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OTHELLO: A CIVIL WAR TALE at the Gladstone Theatre, from Theatre Kraken. Billy Shakes’ epic tragedy comes a-calling, from the team that brought the funtastic Little Shop of Horrors to life last year! From the 1st to the 10th.

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SLEUTH at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre. A nice, classic game of wits bit of business. The 6th to 17th.

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CHICAGO from the Carleton Musical Theatre Society, at the Kailash Mital Theatre (Carleton U campus). It’s a musical!  About Chicago!  Educated guess. The 7th to 10th.

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RHINOCEROS and THEY’RE MADE OUT OF MEAT at Studio Leonard-Beaulne, from Sock’n’Buskin. Someone’s let the Sockies onto another campus! With a double bill no less! From the 8th to 11th.

CHARLY IN THE DESERT (CHARLY DANS LE DESERT) from Creations in Vivo, at Shenkman Arts Centre.  A kid-friendly slice of puppet theatre from some greats, in an English apresentation followed by French!  On Feb 10th.

THE CLEAN HOUSE at the Gladstone Theatre, from Three Sisters. The rule of Ruhl (Sarah, that is) begins at the Gladstone! The 14th to 24th.

DEAD ACCOUNTS at the Ottawa Little Theatre. Because who would go to see live ones? 14Th thru March 3rd.

MONOLOGUE WORKSHOP/NIGHT from Sock’n’Buskin Theatre, at the Clocktower Brewpub (575 Bank street).  They’re not just for auditions anymore! Workshop on the 17th (same location), event on the 27th.

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TABLE TOP TALES at the NAC Rossy Pavillion, from Snafu Dance Theatre. Catch the Snack Music collective for a second time this month (we’ll get to the other appearance in a bit) at the NAC, with this family-friendly food-filled storytelling funfest! The 17th and 19th.

THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES at Live! On Elgin. Always an important event, and it feels like we need to listen to vaginas now, more than ever. The 22nd and 23rd.

 – THEATRE FRANCAIS

LE DIRE DE DI at the NAC Studio. Until the 3rd.

DE L’INSTANT ET DE L’ETERNITE at la Nouvelle Scene, from Theatre du Trillium. The 2nd and 3rd.

COMMENT J’AI APRIS A PARLER AUX OISEAUX, at the NAC Studio. The 10th and 11th.

CHARLY DANS LE DESERT from Creations in Vivo, at Shenkman Arts Centre.  See English entry above!  But still on the 10th.

LES GRAND_MERES MORTES, UNE FETE at la Nouvelle Scene. Only the 17th.

DANS LES SOLITUDES DES CHAMPS DE COTON at the NAC Theatre. The 21st to 24th.

Plus of course the usual grab-bag of goodies from good folks like Crush Improv, Grimprov, the Improv Embassy, Outtake Improv, Ottawa Storytellers, and likely more I’m missing.  Plus this month sees the deadline for New Theatre Ottawa’s SLOWCOOKER series, looking for 3 new scripts to read excerpts from in a PWYC performance in March.

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Oh yeah, and UNDERCURRENTS…which I will get to in the next post.  TEASE!!!  Soon, I promise.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid

Montreal FRINGE-COMA 2014 – KITT & JANE

In Theatre on June 17, 2014 at 11:11 am

I had a bit of a lousy day in Montreal on Monday, I have to admit. It was my own fault, let’s get THAT out of the way right now But I didn’t have a plan, and as I was lurking about from coffeeshop to coffeeshop, writing reviews of my previous day’s batch of Montreal Fringe shows, I found myself getting a wee touch lonesome. It was starting to wear on me, and souring my mood, and by the time my first show of the day rolled around I was a grumpy, touchy-feely mess. It was actually kinda bad, and as I trudged down to the MAI, I didn’t know how the Hell I was gonna get myself out of this one.

Pretty goddamn fortunate, then, that the first show in question was KITT AND JANE: A SURVIVAL GUIDE TO THE NEAR POST-APOCALYPTIC FUTURE from Snafu Dance, the follow-up to the legendary and darn-near miraculous LITTLE ORANGE MAN. For those of you who haven’t seen that original show, your lives ARE the worse for it, it’s true, but you don’t have to have seen it to get the new show. And you NEED to see KITT & JANE, trust me, and not just because I felt like it saved my life that day, made me forget all my troubles, and made everything wonderful with the world again.

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Starring the divine Ingrid Hansen as Kitt, now a few years older than when we saw her last, entering her teens and ever discovering new things about the world around her. Not all of these things are good, however, like Terminator seeds and species extinctions. So, with her best (perhaps only) friend Jane (Rod Peters Jr) at her side, they hatch a plot to hijack the grade 9 assembly and deliver an urgent message to the school populace about the impending apocalypse, how it came about, and what the heck to do about it when it arrives. Using song, shadows, recordings, cool lighting and just maybe some cake, they do just that. It’s a lesson the audience will not soon forget.

Directed once again by the talented Kathleen Greenfield, KITT & JANE stands strong and alone as a marvellous and magical piece of storytelling, even without any knowledge of its celebrated preceding show. Ingrid Hansen’s unstoppable, ocd-driven Kitt is one of the most memorable Fringe characters pretty much ever, so matching her energy was a daunting task. Rod Peters Jr manages it perfectly as the doting, soft-spoken ‘Jane’, often stealing a scene with hardly more than a shy downward glance. And the relationship between the two of them, which starts with a hilariously bossy Kitt basically pushing poor Jane around, turns into something much, much sweeter and complex. The whole story makes a smart and funny blend of environmental activism and adolescent awakening, and emerges as one of the most joyous and unforgettable theatrical experiences you could hope for. Personally, I had pretty high expectations of this show after LOM, and they were met, smashed and surpassed. Which is pretty much what I thought Kitt would do to them. And with Jane at her side..? Anything can happen…and it sure won’t be boring. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid

 

Montreal FRINGE-COMA 2014 : Preview!

In Theatre on June 9, 2014 at 8:36 pm

A few years back in 2011, I took a major Theatrical road trip to Victoria to cover their Fringe Festival for the Visitorium. It was a smashing success, and over the course of the fest I met and befriended Montreal theatre bloggers Al Lafrance and Victoria Laberge of the awesome BLOODY UNDERRATED. We had a time, and one of the results of meeting them was that I suddenly found myself on a Montreal theatre media list that I get merrily inundated with around Fringe time. For the last 3 years the good folks at the MONTREAL FRINGE FESTIVAL have been inviting me to come visit for some reviewing fun…and I’m happy to say that, this is the year I finally am able to take them up on it.

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From the 13th to 16th of June, I’ll be heading over to see what Quebec does with a Fringe festival, and also how drunk I can be and still write reviews. I’m still trying to manage a show schedule…I really need a hard copy of that thing in my hands, ya know what I mean? But boy, are there some amazing looking shows in their lineup. Here’s just a few of the things I want to see, am curious/excited about, and some I absolutely refuse to miss.

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GOD IS A SCOTTISH DRAG QUEEN II from Delcon. I got sold-outted on Delamont’s first blasphemous stand-up show in both Victoria and Toronto, and I swear I’m finally gonna see him in action this time around!

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PALEONCOLOGY from Moon Dinosaur. Kira Hall’s one woman show about dinosaurs and cancer looks awesome and, quite frankly, she had me at dinosaurs.

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4.48 PSYCHOSE from Peregrination Productions. This show was intended to be the 3rd play of the season for the graduating class of Ottawa Theatre School this year, so it holds a bit of a special resonance for me. Can’t wait to see it tackled, in French even!

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WATCH OUT WILDKAT! From Sex T-Rex. One of the best improv troupes on the damn planet is back, with a Western. So yeah, you wanna see it.

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HIGH TEA from Life and Depth. Comedy duo James and Jamesy have crazy good buzz following them around, and this follow-up to their smash 2 FOR TEA should be a guaranteed good time.

AIDEN FLYNN LOST HIS BROTHER SO HE MAKES ANOTHER from Theatre Howl. After rocking Ottawa with the wonderful MATCHSTICK last year, Nathan Howe and the gang are back fringing with their latest, and I’m all excitable to see what they’ve come up with now!

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CROOK OF MY DREAMS from Generation Goat rocket. A Vaudeville-style musical crime caper , created by sisters Phina and Sophie Pipia!

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LOTUS from Hopegrown Productions. I got to share a venue with the ladies of Hopegrown last year when they brought the great AROUND MISS JULIE to Ottawa Fringe. The new one looks terrific.

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MY PLAYWRIGHT SISTER. Johanna Nutter returns with a follow-up to her acclaimed MY PREGNANT BROTHER and this time she’s brought her Brother with her for what just might be the most personal show at this year’s festival.

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BANANARAMALLAMADINGDONG from Flapjack Cadallac. Two dudes and a dame doing wacky sketch comedy, possibly with bananas, which are a good source of potassium. Who could ask for more?

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12 TONGUES from Radiant Moxie. I saw Yana Kesala’s delightful UKRAINIAN DENTISTS DAUGHTER in Victoria and it was a definite highlight. She’s a fun and engaging performer, and the tale of her new show sounds fantastic.

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THE QUITTER from Al Lafrance. It’s Al, for fucks sake!

…and so many more, like IMO (IN MY OPINION) from Jess Salomon, SHIRLEY GNOME: SHE’S PRESENTING from Heartichoke Arts, REAL DEAD GHOSTS from Shelby Company out of NYC, HOUSEBUM: A SUPERHERO ON TRIAL from Mask vs.Title, IN MEMORIAM: THE WAKE OF CHEDDAR FANDANGO from Sermo Scomber Theatre, THE DYSMORPHIA DIET, TALKING COCK, OVER IT, SHADOW WALTZ, STRAPLESS, DRAG UEEN STOLE MY DRESS, SENSE GENTLE, tons of amazing dance shows, cool ass French productions, Sam Mullins, Keir Cutler and SO MUCH MORE! Argh, why am I only going for 4 days??

CROSSOVER!! With schedules between cities a little more back to normal this year, there are once again a host of crossover shows that will be hitting both Montreal AND Ottawa Fringes. Here are a few I might just try and catch in MTL and get the jump on everyone back home…

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JEM ROLLS – ONE MAN TRAFFIC JAM. Jem Rolls is a Fringe legend and a goddamned masterpiece of a spoken word poet/performer, and I can’t wait to see him again after too long an absence.

Me & My Monkey (cred Karen Spies)

ME AND MY MONKEY from Bradley Spann. This solo story of growing up in South Central in the 70’s, indeed with a monkey, has me WAY too intrigued to risk missing.

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IREDEA from Woo Me Myth. A live, Philip K.Dick-inspired sci-fi rock opera, from the same mad geniuses who created THE DUCK WIFE. Miss this one at your peril!

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THE DEVILS CIRCUS from Wishes Mystical Puppet Company. Evil magic puppets…kind of what Fringe is all about, in the end.

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LES CHERRIES.  In Montreal with LES CHERRIES ON FONT DE L’OEIL, and then hitting Ottawa with CHERRY ON TOP, I get the feeling this a cappella chanteuse trio is gonna steal some hearts, and knock some socks off.

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KITT & JANE: A SURVIVAL GUIDE TO THE NEAR POST-APOCALYPTIC FUTURE from Snafu Dance. I’d pay good money to watch Ingrid Hansen do her taxes. Seeing her and co-star Rod Peter jr. as hyperactive 8th-graders in this stand-alone sequel to the legendary LITTLE ORANGE MAN? It’s almost too awesome to contemplate.

YOU NEED TO SEE THIS!! And here are three shows I’ve already seen (more than once in some cases) that the rest of you would be fucking nuts to miss…

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WOLVES>BOYS from May Can Theatre. May Can are hometown heroes here in Ottawa, slowly building an amazing rep as tireless creative forces over the last few years (especially this year, when they’ve challenged themselves to create a new special theatre event every month of the year…so far, they’re on par), and they’re ready to spread their wings and take this country by storm. WOLVES is probably their strongest show yet, and you’re gonna love them more than candy.

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SPITTING IN THE FACE OF THE DEVIL from Bob Brader. I caught Bob Brader’s autobigraphical one-man punch to the gut back in Victoria, and I still feel the goddamn chills from it. Directed by the amazing Suzanne Bachner, this is powerful, powerful medicine. You need this show.

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ROLLER DERBY SAVED MY SOUL from Broken Turtle Productions. Recently revamped after several years of great reviews and delighted audiences, Nancy Kenny is taking her feel-good hit on a major road tour, AND filming a major feature length documentary about the Fringe circuit while she’s at it(read all about ON THE FRINGE here!).  I recently re-reviewed the newest iteration of the show, check it out if you care to.  But more importantly, check out this show.  You can thank me later.

All the apologies to the tons and tons of incredible performers I’ve left off this too-short list…there are just so darned MANY of you!!  And HUGE thanks to the Montreal Fringe for inviting me, putting me up, and being such swell all-around hosts.  I can’t wait to hit town, walk the venue trail, and get my Fringe-Coma on just a little bit earlier this year.  A Bientot, Montreal…I’ll see you soon.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

 

UnderCurrents 2013: LITTLE ORANGE MAN

In GCTC, Theatre, Undercurrents on February 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

So, how exactly does one review the same show for the fourth time?

I mean really, I think even the small-ish review I did about this show way back at the 2011 Victoria Fringe Festival was probably adequate (they even used a pull-quote from it on their recent posterage, to my giddy delight).  And when I wrote it up again after a second viewing in that fdestival, then AGAIN at last year’s Ottawa Fringe, I can’t recall if I had anything significant to add. You know, stunning new insights, layers of meaning revealed, etc.  So I might be stretching it a bit with a fourth go-round…though I hope it worth noting that I just happily saw this show for a fourth time.

Photos by the clearly wonderful Al Smith.

Photos by the clearly wonderful Al Smith.

This show is, I should also mention Snafu Dance Theatre’s LITTLE ORANGE MAN, starring Ingrid Hansen and directed (and co-created) by Kathleen Greenfield.  The story of a hyperactive young Danish girl nicknamed Kitt who is looking for a way to surf the dreamscape (she’s on a bit of a quest, see), it doesn’t take long into this one-of-a-kind show for the audience to see they’re in for something incredibly special.  Using multiple tools and styles, puppetry and shadows, song, and even some celery (actually, quite a lot), Kitt brings the audience along in her dream-experiments, a whimsical and magical experience with a heartbreakingly human payoff at the end.

I’m thrilled beyond the telling that Kath and Ingi have brought LOM back to Ottawa, AND that Kathleen herself has made the trip out from BC to help things along.  I met both these amazing ladies back at the Vic Fringe, and couldn’t be happier that I’ve been getting to spend some time with them both here in O-town.  I caught their supercool talkback session after the second performance, hosted by GCTC artistic director Eric Coates, which had some very informative tales on the origins of the show (formerly called GNOMEWARD BOUND).  We’ve shared a few drinks, done some dancing, and even caught an insane dance show together, about which I’ll talk at more length in the next Monday Foofarah.  They’re amazing and inspirational people, and meeting them and others like them has made this whole mad rush into the theatre world of the last few years utterly, perfectly worthwhile.  When people ask me to explain my love of theatre, I can sum it up in three words…Little Orange Man.

Al Smith!

Al Smith!

Sorry, I’d meant this post to go on at slightly more length, but I’m pressed for time.  Bus was late this afternoon, and I have to get back to the GCTC tonight for, if you can believe it, one more viewing of Little Orange Man (hey, they invited me..!).  Also, I have a dvd that Ingrid wants to borrow, and it’s always nice to give back a little.  I probably won’t get to see the ladies again before they finish their run and have to vacate our chilly town (LOM is playing next in both Montreal and Toronto), so I want one last chance to hug them farewell, and hope they make it back to Ottawa next Fringe, with the sequel show, KITT AND JANE.  I think that’d be swell.  And that’s it for my Undercurrents writeups, folks…back later with some sort of wrapup or other, if I can think of anything more to say.  In the meantime…Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

Coming Up in February 2013

In Theatre on January 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm

On account of I haven’t posted anything in a week and a half, and I’m starting to question my own existence as a result, I’m gonna try and get the ‘Coming Up’ post done and posted a wee bit early.  And there was even stuff TO talk about!  A wicked ‘Bout Time workshop with Crush Improv (I made someone laugh!), ALTHEA at the Saw Gallery from Inverted Tree (short but sweet), and that whole ‘getting cast in a Fringe show’ thing…but we will talk more of THAT at a later date.  In the meantime, get ready to scream and shout, because it’s FEBRUARY IN OTTAWA!!!  And, as we’re about to see, that’s a much more awesome thing than it sounds like.

— ENGLISH THEATRE —

– BLUE BOX at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, from Nightswimming and Carmen Aguirre.  You have until the 3rd to find out why Carmen Aguirre is so much better than you (and she is).

BAT BOY THE MUSICAL at the Gladstone Theatre, from Black Sheep Theatre.  Until the 2nd, one of the funnest musicals of them all comes to a close, and if you miss it, I’ll never forgive you (neither will Bat Boy).

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METAMORPHOSES at the National Arts Centre, from NAC English Theatre.  The swimming pool show!  Ovid!  Alix Sideris is in it!  And I’ll know more once I see it in a few days, but go!  Until the 16th.

THE LAST DROP at schools across the region, from Salamander Theatre.  Touring schools, but with one public performance on the 2nd at the OSSD, (EDITED: sadly, I am informed that the public performance has been cancelled.  As usual, schoolkids get ALL the good stuff!) this Natalie Joy Quesnel-helmed show about a fish and scientist fighting over a glass of water promises to be something memorable. So if you, I don’t know, run a school or something, BOOK THIS SHOW!

RABBIT HOLE at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre.  From the 5th to 16th, family drama from David Lindsay-Abaire that sounds pretty gut-punching.  Gonna try hard to make it out to this one.

BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR at the Gladstone Theatre, from Plosive Productions.  Chris Ralph flies solo (well, with a pianist, and director supreme Teri Loretto-Valentik) in the Canadian musical classic.  From the 8th to 23rd.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE at the Ottawa Little Theatre.  The NAC had their crack, now it’s OLT’s turn with their take on Jane Austen’s love-romp fluffstravaganza.  From the 12th thru to March 2nd.

GOD OF CARNAGE at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre (GCTC), from Third Wall.  They’re back!  With the Ontario premiere of Yasmina Reza’s hit show, and the Avengers-league cast of Duckworth, Ellis, Watt and Koensgen leading the charge.  From the 12th thru March 2nd.

THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS from Algonquin Theatre.  The Gonq kids are back for another season, kicking off with some Commedia courtesy of director Catriona Leger!  From the 13th to 17th.

THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS AND OTHER STORIES from Ottawa Theatre School, at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama.  A little Munsch action for ya, from the OTS gang.  Family fare from the 16th to 23rd.

SANCTUARY SONG at the National Arts Centre Studio.  An opera for children, about an elephant.  Sold!  The 16th and 18th.

INNOCENCE LOST at the National Arts Centre.  Beverly Cooper’s dramatic retelling of the true story of Steven Truscott.  From the 27th to March 16th.

And for something of interest to fans of both French AND English Theatre (you should be fans of both, by the way), the PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS will be announcing their 2013 nominations on the 26th at Mercury Lounge.  C’mon out and tart planning what to wear to the gala!

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Oh yes, I hadn’t forgotten about it!  (Although to all the people who’ve been talking about it like it’s the only thing going on in Ottawa theatre this month…please see above).  Here’s the goodies coming up any second now from the third UNDERCURRENTS Festival, running from the 5th thru 17th…all shows taking place in the GCTC Studio (or maybe the lobby, as in the case of BREAD):

SKIN from Deluxe Hot Sauce.  Insanely cool sounding theatre from the Saucies, featuring original music composed by mapping each performers skin.  Starts the 5th, ends the 16th.

THE PUBLIC SERVANT from Theatre Columbus. Billed as a tragi-comedy about the life of a female federal employee, Theatre Columbus has the years to prove they mean business.  And they were smart enough to bring Sarah McVie along on this one!  Starts the 5th, ends on the 17th.

BREAD from Karen Balcome and Geoff McBride.  Bake bread in the lobby with Ruby and Seth!  Short and lively theatre that I expect you will remember always (very limited seating!)  Starts the 5th, ends the 17th.

LADIES OF THE LAKE from Skeleton Key. The secret origin of the Lady of the Lake?  If it’s from Kate Smith and Catriona Leger, then I believe it.  Starts on the 6th, ends the 16th.

HIP HOP SHAKESPEARE LIVE MUSIC VIDEOS from 411 Dramaturgy.  First of two returning Fringe hits, Dave and Mel’s inspiring collage of Bardic song parodies is a major crowd pleaser. Starts the 6th, ends the 17th.

LITTLE ORANGE MAN from Snafu Dance Theatre.   The other Fringe showstopper…one of the best things in the history of ever, featuring the inimitable Ingrid Hansen as Kitt.  Starts on the 7th, ends on the 14th.

LITTLE ILIAD from Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O’Connell.  Cool people tell me this innovative, two-man show is one for the ages, and I can’t wait.  Runs twice nightly, because they don’t have enough headphones (you’ll see).  Starts on the 8th, ends on the 13th.

— FRENCH THEATRE —

V COMME CANARD at Theatre de L’Ile. Until the 16th.  Comedy like only the French can do it!

VIPERINE at the NAC studio.  Until the 3rd, family drama aimed at a young audience.

L’ARAIGNEE at L’Espace Rene Prevost.  Until the 2nd…new stuff from Elise Gauthier, yay!

20,000 LIEUES SOUS LES MERS: L’HOMME FACE A  LA NATURE at Arts Court Studio, from Creations in Vivo.  2pm on the 10th, 16th and 17th, in asscociation with Chill Factor!  Live action Jules Verne for the win!

UBU SUR LA TABLE at the NAC Rehearsal Hall A.  From the 12th to the 16th.  Puppet theatre of the insanely cool sounding variety.

KIWI at the NAC Studio.  From the 20th to 23rd…a ‘fairy tale devoid of fairies’, for ages 12 and up.

OULIPO SHOW at the NAC Studio.  From the 27th to March 2nd, a supposedly amazing display of French linguistic acrobatics…so I may need to have a spotter for this one.

—OTHER STUFF—

IMPROV : Crush Improv will be back with another Bout Time on the 4th, this time upstairs at the Foolish Chicken!  Two brand new teams, so how can ya lose?  And GRIMPROV, another Improv gang that have lost their home recently (RIP Imperial Tavern), relocated at the last minute this month to the Cock and Lion, and I’ll keep this spot updated with where their next show will be.  Crystal Basement…is your show at Atomic Rooster on the FIRST Tuesday of the month, or the last..?  I get confused easily.

COMEDY: CRACKING UP THE CAPITAL hits town from the 5th thru 9th, featuring such visiting comedy dignitaries as Colin Mochrie, Deb McGrath, Big Daddy Tazz and many more (including a head to head bout with the Carleton U. and Ottawa U. improv teams, moderated my Mochrie his own self).  Comedy fans take fuckin’ note!

DANCE : FACE 2 FACE from NAC Dance and a variety of supercool international artists, putting on a mini-Fringe of Dance goodness.  The shows…STILL STANDING YOU, THE MOST TOGETHER WE’VE EVER BEEN, HOW ABOUT YOU?, and T.+ BERNADETTE and THE ENCHANTED ROOM sound absolutely unmissable…which is why I have no intention of missing them, and you’d be a loon to pass this up too.  At the NAC Studio, ODD Dance Studio and Arts Court Theatre from the 5th thru 9th.

MUSIC: The Winter Edition of the OTTAWA JAZZ FESTIVAL hits town from January 30th until February 2nd, with a whole lotta sweet sounds at venues at the Mercury Lounge, Dominion Chalmers Church, Academic Hall and the NAC 4th Stage.  I’ll be making my music-review debut at this shindig, so I hope come of you will make it out!

— OTHER OTHER STUFF —

Someone just kindly pointed out a small  little winter festival in town this month, called WINTERLUDE.  Maybe you want to check some of the million or so activities this slightly gigantic event has going on, as well as their newer sister festival CHILL FACTOR.  Keep your eyes peeled on the weekends at Marion Dewar plaza, or Jacques Cartier and Confederation Parks, and you just might see the Ottawa Stilt Union prowling around, looking cool. In fact, here’s a recently added list of their appearance times!

You might also be interested in hitting up DIRTY DOZEN, the 12th anniversary shindig in honour of Venus Envy‘s 12th year in operation.  Gonna be some sweet burlesque, including my pal the Mighty Afrodite, at Babylon nightclub on Saturday the 16th.

(This is the part where you tell me what I missed, and what cool goings-on Ottawa needs to know about.  Movies, Dance, spoken word, you name it, I’ll pimp it, just drop me a comment/tweet/e-mail/whatever.  Also, whatever new stuff I find (or, ahem, remember) along the way will go here.  Check back as often as it please ye.)  In the meantime I am DONE, because it’s gotten warm out and the furnace still thinks it’s minus 30-something. Phew!  Peace,love and soul, y’all,

Kevin Reid, aka The Visitor (and Winston)

Undercurrents 2013 — Launched!

In Undercurrents on November 15, 2012 at 10:34 pm

It’s a rare and merry time indeed when I get to roll out of the drudgery at 4pm, hop on a bus across town to the GCTC, and have a sweet hangout for a few hours in a roomful of awesome theatrical folks…drinking beer, having some snacks, and listening to a dream of a lineup for an upcoming festival being announced. It actually DOES sound like a nice dream when I talk about it, but nah, it’s just UNDERCURRENTS launch time again, which is even better.  We’re all familiar with Undercurrents, right?  Let me refresh your memories:

Yes, it’s the little festival of theatre that makes February, the shortest and coldest month of the year, one of the best and brightest here in O-Town.  Taking place over two weeks (this time from the 5th to the 17th) in the GCTC studio space, the fest showcases six shows from across Canada…3 local, and 3 national.  Producer Pat Gauthier, who sees himself an amount of theatre across this nation that even makes ME jealous, picks the shows, and he’s scheduled us a doozy this time around, in what may be the best  Undercurrents to date.  Is the third time the charm?  Check it out, and you tell me…

– SKIN from Deluxe Hot Sauce.  A World Premiere from the Saucies, last seen in the gorgeous First Dusk, Last Light at the SubDevision festival.  Featuring some of the most talented humans you’re ever likely to meet, in a devised piece featuring original music from Nick Carpenter, created by mapping the marks off of the skin of the performers themselves.  You want innovative?  Yeah, we’ve got that shit covered.

THE PUBLIC SERVANT from Theatre Columbus. From the 28-year strong Toronto company, a tale perhaps eerily familiar to Ottawa audiences about life in the Federal employ.  Another girl-centric show (yay!), featuring GCTC fav’rit Sarah McVie!

LADIES OF THE LAKE from Skeleton Key.  World Premiere again, from the gang that brought the ultracool She Hath Done What She Could to SubDevision.  Cat Leger, Kate Smith and John Doucet give you the secret origin of the Lady of the Lake, and I couldn’t be happier to see this team making their big theatre debut at last.

HIP-HOP SHAKESPEARE LIVE MUSIC VIDEOS from 411 Dramaturgy.  A Fringe hit here AND in Vancouver, theatre faves Dave and Melanie are back with their filksong epic matching the bard with the finest hip-hopping to be had.  Will this remount feature any NEW songs, you ask?  I heard a rumour to that effect, but I may be making Much Ado About Nothing…

LITTLE ILIAD from Evan Webster, Frank Cox-O’Connell, and Harbourfront Centre (in association with Cork Midsummer Festival and Banff Centre…phew!).  I don’t know much about this show other than the gobsmacked awe in the voices of everyone I talked to who HAD seen it…and they were people I take seriously when the get their gobs smacked, let me tell ya.  An intimate show featuring smaller audiences than the other shows here, but getting two shows a night to compensate.  It sounds bloody incredible, and I can’t wait.  And speaking of can’t waiting…

LITTLE ORANGE MAN from Snafu Dance Theatre.  I’m not sure I can invent any more superlatives to heap on this, the Fringe show to end all Fringe shows, than I have already, so I’m just going to repeat myself from this past June: missing Little Orange Man would be the stupidest mistake of your stupid life.  And if you HAVEN’T seen it, you’ll have your work cut out for you getting a ticket before all the loyal fans who HAVE seen it nab them up, because believe me, they want to see Ingrid Hansen as Kitt again if it’s the last thing they do.  You will too.

And I know I said six shows, but what the Heck, let’s add in a seventh…BREAD from Karen Balcome and Geoff McBride, in collaboration with Theatre 4.669 (Bifurcate Me) and Mi Casa’s Emily Pearlman!  A very limited seating show playing in the lobby at various times, and featuring hands-on cooking, long missing in local theatre.  And all this while Third Wall‘s GOD OF CARNAGE is playing in the Irving Greenberg!

It’s gonna be a hot time at the GCTC this February, gang, and if you aren’t excited to see this amazing collection of vibrant and innovative theatre, then I hope you’re very happy with your job at Sun Media, you goddamned fascist.  The rest of you can schmooze over the festival lineup HERE, and then I’d damn well better see you in a few months, hopefully making this the best-attended Undercurrents yet.  What, you’ve got something ELSE to do in February?  Heck, you can take your sweetie to see HIP HOP SHAKESPEARE or LITTLE ORANGE MAN on Valentine’s Day, even!  And sad sacks like me can assuage their loneliness that same day, by seeing LITTLE ORANGE MAN or HIP HOP SHAKESPEARE!  It’s win/win, people!!  Now get excited, and get to the theatre.  OUT.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

Fringe-Coma 2012 – Days NINE and TEN

In Company of Fools, Theatre on June 24, 2012 at 1:28 am

You bet your Momma’s shell collection I took me a night off from blogging!  On purpose, even!  And totally not because I got home silly drunk at nearly 2 am, and had to work at 8.  Though I won’t lie, that WAS A factor.

No, I mostly let myself slide on writing last night because, as of yesterday afternoon, me and the beautiful flock of Angels that is TEAM VISITORIUM had successfully reviewed each and every show in the Festival!  Not quite as fast as Fully Fringed, sure, but who wants to finish fast?  The Visitorium has STAMINA, folks.  You know, except for last night when I just came home and passed out drunk.  Shut up.  So what the Heck have I been up to for two whole days, while you poor folks just had to sit and wonder, with worry in your hearts?  Well, I thought I’d take a wild stab at Fringing.  All these shows have, as stated , already been covered by the lovely Team V, but here’s my own quickie take on the shows from the last couple:

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CRUX by Kathleen Frost (Hightide Theatre)

Starting with the indeed memorable local song RIDEAU AND SUSSEX, Crux the very-Canadian musical quickly falls onto our perky lead Grace, as she’s ushered into a mysterious secret society thru th eRideau Underpass.  Or, it’s all in the subconscious of this dude she dated once.  Or it’s on the island from LOST, or…really, I don’t think anyone has managed to figure out just what happened in this show.  But whatever it was, it had fun, well choreographed tunes, interesting characters and performances, and plenty of kissing.  And if you figure out what it was all about, call me.

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DIRK DARROW: NCSSI by Tim Motley

The third of the illusionist trio in Studio Leonard-Beaulne this year (along with Chris Bange of THE FAT GUY SHOW and Paddy McCullagh of R U SMARTER THAN AN IRISHMAN), Motley’s film-noir spoof Darrow works with the audience to solve a particularly crafty whodunnit.  Lots of intriguing gags (some I’ve never seen before, with a colourful premise and a very engaging lead who’s as quick with a joke or an ad-lib as he is with a bit of sleight of hand.

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WOLVES>BOYS by Tony Adams and Cory Thibert (May Can Theatre)

SO happy to finally see May Can’s new show, and it was worth the wait.  Pulling from their established bag of tricks (boyish charm, easy humour, high energy, and vivid imaginations) and adding in several new-to-them innovations, Cory and Tony have stepped up their game with this show.  Friends Isaac and Lawrence are meeting in a graveyard…or is war brewing between the Alpha and Beta of a pack of Ghost Wolves?  Great interplay between the leads, dialogue that shifts nicely between poignant and hysterical, and some really, really fun flashback scenes. I can’t wait  to see what the lads come up with next.

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DONKEY DERBY by Tess Mc Manus (little Green Hat)

Okay, I treated myself to a repeat of Tess’ delightful show…what can I say, I find one-woman Fringe shows with DERBY in the title a little irresistible.  What, YOU don’t have a fetish?  The tale was just as engaging and charming the second time around, and this time I got to be the donkey.
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WHAT HAPPENS NOW by Andrew Chapman (1.21 Productions)

Seriously, why has there not been more buzz about this show?  Andrew Chapman’s one-man stand-up comedy hour was laugh-out-loud funny from the get-go.  Even with a relatively small audience, Chapman kept the energy and pace of the piece up, riffing on life in both Ottawa and Toronto, shitty apartments and the truth about ‘lost’ cats.  A really funny and smart comedian who deserves better houses than he’s got.  Pack his last show Sunday at 730, folks.

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I’M NOT CRYING IN THE BATHROOM, I’M CRYING IN THE SUPPLY CLOSET by Lady Business

A whip-smart, fast-paced, all-lady sketch comedy show (with more than a few songs thrown in for why the Hell not?), starring three talented comic actors.  A very few of the bits fall flat, but most of them are funny to hilarious.  Everyone will have their fav’rits…I think mine is the period piece with the women waiting for their husbands to return from the sea.  Which doesn’t SOUND like ripe material for comedy, but LadyBusiness knows some tricks, folks.  Funny shit, funny gals.

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LITTLE ORANGE MAN by Ingrid Hansen and Kathleen Greenfield (Snafu Dance Theatre)

You’re God Damn right I was catching LOM again on it’s Ottawa tour, after hitting it up twice last year in Victioria.  And it was just as magical, and even funnier, than I remembered.  It worked SO beautifully in the theatre space down below at St.Paul’s, packed to the rafters on Ingrid’s closing night.  The audience receptivity was amped up to 1000%, and Ingrid played with us like one of her puppets.  I had missed Kitt SO MUCH!  And tonight, I got to be one of the Kinders (Fern, obviously the best one).  Icing on the Fringe cake, folks.  As good as it gets.

That was my last show today, and I tried to be good, tearing myself away from the Courtyard in time to get home write this, and still get SOME sleep.  Last shows tomorrow, some poster-stealing for the collection (sorry!  although if you’re reading this, and have a copy of your show poster, bring it by the the tent and I’ll HAPPILY take it off your hands!)  then what will hopefully be an epic afterparty.  Team V, I hope I see all of you there!  I owe you all so much, you’re the bestest.  Peace, love and soul, Fringers,

The Visitor (and Winston)

Team Visitorium 2012 – Danielle’s Reviews!

In Fringe Fest, Theatre on June 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm

DANIELLE SAVOIE is one of my fav’rit up’n’coming actors here in Ottawa, and has been ever since I saw her in Salamander Shakespeare’s THE DEATH OF TYBALT at the 2010 Ottawa Fringe Festival.  Since then I’ve seen her in ROMEO AND JULIET, RED NOSES, QUEEN FOR A DAY, 297 BAYVIEW CLINIC (it counts!), LA CIMITIERE DES VOITURES and A MIDWINTERS DREAM TALE, among others.   Latest projects are Bear and Company‘s ‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE (at this year’s Fringe) and AS YOU LIKE IT (touring parks later this summer).  She does not care for writing her own bios.

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LITTLE ORANGE MAN by Ingrid Hansen and Kathleen Greenfield (Snafu Dance Theatre)

LITTLE ORANGE MAN doesn’t star a little orange man at all, but Ingrid Hansen, who plays a 6th grader named Kitt. Kitt is an awkward, ADD-suffering, extremely imaginative young Danish girl who has a lovely singing voice. She went on the internet and created a craigslist ad which the audience apparently responded to. Why did she need all of these people? To help her with her dream experiments of course! Basically, Kitt had been having a recurring dream in which she needs someone to help her cross the invisible bridge to the other side of her dream. Throughout the play she tells the audience about her dreams, about being picked on at school and about her friendship with “kinders” (kids attending a preschool) on the other side of the fence, about living with her mom and her grandfather, and finally about fucked up stories involving shoes. Throughout, there are puppets and food and scissors and shoes flying about!

Honestly, it is a must see show. Yet another one hander (I feel like all I’ve seen this year are one man (or woman) shows), it doesn’t feel like it is a one hander with all of the characters she portrays with her puppets and lettuce and apples and celery. It is 75 minutes of dynamic storytelling, song singing, and audience interaction. And as one might guess from the fact that Kitt has ADD, it is really all over the place, and it also reminds you of the massive imagination children can have. It made me jealous of kids who could still think up of all the crazy shit she was talking about. What stuck the most in my head were the drawings the kinders drew that were inspired by Kit’s stories. I don’t want to say what they were but it is fucked up. But awesome. The whole thing is awesome.

Ingrid paints such vivid pictures while using the most mundane items. She has impeccable timing, and is extremely precise with her puppetry (both with the puppets and the food items). It is obvious this show has been worked and reworked and specified right down to the finest detail. Shows like LITTLE ORANGE MAN are why fringe festivals were created.

This review is kind of turning ADD. I think Kitt rubbed off on me. Which just goes to show how fucking amazing this show is! I decided to sit on the floor rather than on a seat. It was uncomfortable and painful, but worth it; I was just captivated the whole time. If you want to catch this show, go early, it has been selling out quickly. Luckily, it is in a BYOV, so there are lots more opportunities to see it. Do it! Go see it! Or else birds will peck out your eyes!

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SPACE MYSTERY… FROM OUTERSPACE!!! by Jeremy Doiron (Dead Unicorn Ink.)
A femme fatale, a mad scientist, a film noir detective, giant aubergines, giant lizards, giant… well giant everything, lasers, and outer space. If you’ve every dreamed of all these things rolled up into one package, SPACE MYSTERY… FROM OUTER SPACE!!! (I think that is the number of exclamation marks…) is for you!! Dead Unicorn Ink brings us yet another hilarious show parodying B movies with the use of puppets!
Detective Rick Derringer (Jake Smith) is commissioned by Selma Widowmaker (Marissa Caldwell) to solve the mystery of the disappearance of her mad scientist Uncle, Dr. Phineas Grimm (Tom Charlebois). What ensues is, of course, a trip to Grimm’s secret lair in outer space. Derringer and Selma hop onto Captain Kit Hammerfist’s (Mike Doiron) dirigible and crash land on Dr. Grimm’s mysterious planet, where everything starts to go wrong. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot since most of the fun is going in blind, but just know that there are lots and lots of amazing puppets.


All of the performances were spot on, mostly because the parts were expertly casted. Mike Doiron is wonderfully pretentious and condescending as a useless captain, Tom Charlebois is completely over the top mad scientist-y, Jake Smith has the film noir tone and voice nailed down, and I swear I heard jaws hitting the floor when Marissa Caldwell walked out and played a femme fatale as if she was one already!
The script is filled with double entendres, puns, and hilarious jokes, all the while still advancing the plot. There are some bits here and there that didn’t really work and the energy dips a bit, but you completely forget about those parts when the next hilarious thing happens. The script is tight and there is no fluff or filler, it’s all plot plot funny funny plot plot. The only real criticism that I have is detective Rick Derringer’s stupid hat. It is a cool character piece, but I couldn’t see half his face for most of the show since the lighting hit it at a weird angle. The hat isn’t worth it if I can’t see an actor’s face.
Space Mystery is definitely a must see fringe show. You won’t feel intellectually stimulated, but you will laugh a hell of a lot. Fuck smarts.
Exclamation marks!!!!

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DONKEY DERBY by Tess Mc Manus (Little Green Hat Productions, w/Black Sheep Theatre)
DONKEY DERBY is a cute little piece written and performed by one of the most Irish Canadian I know, Tess McManus. She plays a young catholic Irish girl by the name of Mary who was entered into Letterkenney’s Donkey Derby by her family. For anyone who doesn’t know (I didn’t know either, so no worries) a Donkey Derby is a competition in which unwilling participants must race unwilling donkeys to win the golden turnip. For a character like Mary, who is anti-social and suffers from severe anxiety disorders, being entered in such a humiliating competition is pretty much death by embarrassment.


This one woman show doesn’t stop at just recounting the events of that donkey derby day, however. Mary tells her good “friend” Percy all about her childhood and her time at an all girl’s high school. She beautifully talks about the tension between catholic and protestant Ireland in a very accessible way to Canadians, such as myself, who simply do not understand the difficult Irish situation. After this brief serious piece, she jumps right back into recounting her hilarious life in Letterkenney.
Truth be told, I am always sceptical walking into a one person show. They are difficult to pull off, and if it doesn’t work, there is only one person that can be blamed. However, Mc Manus pulls it off. She is hilarious as Mary and is able to paint quite a vivid picture using only her words and a single chair. She also puts on an Irish accent which is AWESOME because accents are awesome. If only for the accent, come see the show. But you will be treated to way more than that once you arrive.

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A REPORT TO AN ACADEMY by Fanz Kafka (Glassiano Productions)
A REPORT TO AN ACADEMY, written by Franz Kafka, is yet another one person show featuring Sean Sonier as a chimp. Yep. He plays a chimp. In a one man show. And he talks! Whaaaaaa?
Glassiano Productions remounts this piece at the fringe festival. It was directed by Martin Glassford. Originally, it was mounted and performed at the University of Ottawa last year, but it was so good, it just had to be performed again! (I’m guessing).


Sean Sonier plays a chimp who decided to leave behind his life as a chimp and pursue a life as a human being. As the title of the show suggests, he recounts his life and transition from ape to ‘human’ to an academy, ie., the audience. He talks about being caged and transported against his will, about his first hand shake, his first word; essentially, his whole transition from ape to human.
The script is moving yet funny. You can’t help but feel sympathetic for a character who can no longer live as an ape, but still is not fully comfortable as a human. It’s easy to interpret that in different ways that is relatable, because really, apes don’t actually turn into humans. Obviously. Anyway!
Sean Sonier is fabulous as the ape. He somehow is able to play a very eloquent and intelligent ‘person’ while keeping the physicality and behaviour of a chimp. It’s a bit of a mind fuck, but it’s a good mind fuck. His use of the only set piece, a podium, is also really cool. I won’t give away what he does with it, but it turns into a lot of things other than just a plain podium.
Overall, a funny and touching show. I know people might not be too crazy about walking up all those flights of stairs to see the show in room 311 of the theatre building, but trust me, it is well worth the climb! (Plus a bit of exercise after all that sitting around watching fringe plays can’t hurt anyone).

Fringe-terview #5 – LITTLE ORANGE MAN

In Fringe Fest, Theatre on June 10, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Last year at the Victoria Fringe Festival I saw a show called LITTLE ORANGE MAN.  In fact, I saw it twice, and when it comes to the Ottawa Fringe in just a few days, you better believe I’m gonna see it again.  The story of an excitable little girl named Kitt who tries to communicate with her Grandfather via dreams, it was a perfectly wonderful, mind-blowing  piece of theatre, and I was lucky enough to get some Q&A in this past week with performer Ingrid Hansen, and director Kathleen Greenfield, about this amazing show that I guarantee will be on everyone’s top 5 lists by June 25th.

LITTLE ORANGE MAN star and co-creator Ingrid Hansen

Visitorium – Tell us a little about Snafu Dance Theatre.

Ingrid Hansen – I co-founded SNAFU with Sarah Jane Pelzer and Victor Dolhai in Victoria in 2006, while were in the thick of University.  Victor and I went to Vancouver for Kokoro Dance’s Wreck Beach Butoh Intensive, which culminated with 25 people performing nude in the sand and waves of Wreck Beach.  We came back to the island wanting to create a show, and, so, we did.

V – Is this your first solo show?

IH – Yes, although we created a 10 minute ‘nugget’ version of Little Orange Man, called “Noggin”, for a site-specific theatre event / party in a downtown Vancouver Parkade in 2010, so I guess that was my first EVER solo show.   It was very cold, but tons of fun.  I started the show by riding up the parkade ramps on a bicycle covered in streamers.

One of our main goals in creating a solo show was to not end up talking to myself the entire time.  We wanted to create a live experience with our audience.

V – LITTLE ORANGE MAN has a lot of fantastical elements, but there’s a very human story at its heart.  How personal is this show, and Kitt’s story, for you?

Ingrid Hansen (and friend) in LITTLE ORANGE MAN

IH – Like Kitt, I have a very strong imagination, and often move, act, and talk quite quickly, and often have been asked to ‘tone it down.’  Which is nonsense.  TONE IT UP!

And the connection with dreams was made all more real last year when, after not talking to or really thinking about my grandma for about a month, I had a vivid dream that I was holding her in my arms, and that she was in trouble – her body was limp and deflated and she couldn’t move her arms or her legs.  It turns out the very night I had that dream was the night she had a stroke, which ultimately ended her life.  She was, I think, 96.  So, I mean it when Kitt says, “Sometimes our dreams are sent to us from other animals.”   But then again sometimes you just dream about trying to find a bathroom and you wake up and you really have to pee.

Kathleen Greenfield – Ingi has told you about the dream truth. For me, I feel very personally connected because the character is the heart of so many artists, including myself. Trying so hard to reach out and be understood without becoming something that is easily understood.
V – How big a challenge was it to incorporate all the different storytelling elements (dance, song, projected imagery, puppetry, etc.) used in LOM?

IH – For Kathleen and I,  the challenge was not in incorporating the different mediums, but just navigating the logical plot and how it unfolds.  At one point we created a bunch of elaborate puppets that never made the cut- including a really cool, hideous angler fish with glowing eyes.

KG – It was a challenge to find a time to stop playing and start trying to figure out how it all pieces together. Both Ingrid and I are connected to an idea that there is more to a plot than what we commonly see on stage so we did not want to restrain the character of Kitt but we had to find a way to make sure that she could be understood. It took a lot of test audiences to find a balance between the images, the story, the music and the character. It took a lot of learning and discipline to be able to toss good ideas aside if they did not fit the whole play instead of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

LITTLE ORANGE MAN director and co-creator Kathleen Greenfield

V – What has the initial reaction been to the show?

IH – Love – hate.  Mostly love.

KG – It was pretty amazing to see all of the faces in the audience as Ingrid performed the piece in both Victoria and Vancouver last summer. There are always one or two people who are so mesmerized by the show that their faces are like children. The show seems to let people remember what it was like to be a child…odd, lonely, scared but also adventurous and determined.

V – What geeky-tourist thing are you going to do first in Ottawa?

IH – Definitely not going to visit the PM’s house.  I hope he chokes on a bagel.

LITTLE ORANGE MAN plays at St.Paul’s Eastern Untied in the Ottawa Fringe Festival from June 14th to the 24th.  Check the Festival Website for showtimes, map and prices.  And tune in tomorrow for, yes, yet another Fringe Interview!

Pretty Little Fringe 2011 Nightcap

In Theatre on September 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

So there I was, pretty grim and disshevelled the morning after the Victoria Fringe festival ended.  I was hurting fromthe drink like I hadn’t hurt in a decade, most of my new and old friends had already fled town for Vancouver or beyond, and it was goddamn labour day so most everything was closed.  What was a Visitor to do?

Thankfully, one of my fav’rit shows of the Fringe, LITTLE ORANGE MAN, provided me with the answer.  Star Ingrid Hansen had  hepped us to the existence of a special one-off performance of Snafu Dance Theatre‘s piece, PRETTY LITTLE INSTINCTS, that she and the troupe performed at the Summerworks festival this year.  It sounded like a tailor-made way to cap off the Victoria Fringe, so I headed out for the 8pm performance.  After some trouble finding the place (I probably should have looked at, you know, a MAP first), I made it to the Victoria landmark that is Point Ellice house on the waterfront for the special outdoors performance.  Met a few of my new Victoria mates there, especially director Kathleen Greenfield, and volunteer/superfan Janis, enjoyed some live music aforehand, then got led out back for the show.

A group of elegant, black-clad ladies with powdered white faces awaited us, dancing slowly in a circle before politely noticing our presence.  They flitted among the crowd, tucking people in and just generally being helpful, when the bell rang, the show began in earnest, and they took their own seats in a semi-circle on the grass.  Strange silent rituals began then…an elegant tea ceremony, constantly interrupted by music and repeated, again and again.   More rituals began, and ended strangely, events twisted, behaviours took dark, violent turns.  The group turned on their own, shouts and primal screams echoes here and there, until…

Photo credit - Gordon Lee

…Look, there’s just no real lucid way to DESCRIBE this wondrous piece of dance theatre from SNAFU without unintentionally ruining the whole damn beautiful thing.  It’s lyrical, playful, elegant and evocative, mythological and allegorical, and lots and lots of other big words that don’t do it justice.  I can only imagine they ate it up at Summerworks, and hopefully my peeps in Ottawa get a chance to see it someday, too.  Snafu put on a haunting and unforgettable show, and I couldn’t be more pleased that I stuck around in Victoria that extra day to catch it.  Much obliged, gang…and I hope to see some of you again soon.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)