Archives for March 2021

Night Passing: You can give it a pass

Poster advertising the Arts Club Theatre's production of Scott Button's Night PassingWell-intentioned and over two-hours long, the audio play Night Passing is, unfortunately, boring.

Set in Ottawa in 1958, playwright Scott Button’s script explores the entrapment of gay men and lesbians by the RCMP. Fueled by anti-communist hysteria south of the border, the force was trying to “cleanse” the civil service of queer folk who were, presumably, easier to blackmail.

Entrapment is, of course, blackmail by the establishment.

Just after he moves to Ottawa from a small town, Button’s protagonist, Elliot, is seduced into making out in an alley with a creepy undercover cop who insists on being called Dad. Photos are taken. Dad pressures Elliot into informing on other gay men. [Read more…]

Imagine Van Gogh: Take the leap

iPhone photo of the installation Imagine Van Gogh

Is it trippy? Yes it is. (Photo by me. They let you take videos too.)

Go. But take earplugs. ***

I was happy for hours after seeing Imagine Van Gogh.

To experience the piece, you enter a huge room — in Vancouver, it’s at the Convention Centre — in which the towering walls and, somehow it seems, the floor, are rear-projection surfaces. Creators Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron cover every inch of those planes with details from over 200 paintings that Van Gogh created in the last two years of his life.  [Read more…]

Out of Order: That’s what I call Covid relief!

Screen Grab from Out of Order by The 7 Fingers

Samuel Renaud supports Louis Joyal. (Screen grab)

Oh sweet, sweet sexiness! There’s darkness in this pandemic-themed, pandemic-era production from the circus collective Les 7 Doigts (The 7 Fingers) but, for me, the overriding experience is about the spectacular joys of embodiment and connection.

Through The Cultch, Out of Order is only available online until March 21, so read this quickly then book your tickets. [Read more…]

Poetic Consultations: easy communion

publicity still for Poetic Consultations from Théâtre de la Ville

My temporary phone buddy Johanna White (Photo: Théâtre de la Ville)

I got to talk to a charming actor from Paris. Considering we were complete strangers when we started, our conversation was surprisingly easy and intimate. And, at the end of it, Johanna White performed a poem for me based on her assessment of my needs.

The experience lightened my heart. I recommend it and something similar can be yours — free or by donation. [Read more…]

An Acorn: abstraction over action

publicity photo for impel theatre's An Acorn

From top left: Kelli Fox, Blythe Haynes, Ntara Curry, and Ray Strachan

Early on, the speakers in An Acorn say, “It could be that we dreamed this/It could be that we desired this/It could be that we have no idea who we are.”

It doesn’t take long to figure out that they’re talking about environmental collapse: “I want to get used to the darkness,” somebody says. Another: “The famine will set in soon.” Somebody else: “I knew that in other places the world really was on fire.” [Read more…]

Moby Dick in the Dark: leviathan redux

publicity photo for Moby Dick in the Dark

(Clockwise from top left: Robinson J. Cyprian, Corey Bradberry, Mack Gordon, Elizabeth McCoy.)


Moby Dick in the Dark, the latest production from Theatre in the Dark, is an audio adaptation of Herman Melville’s enormous novel, Moby-Dick: or, the White Whale. Listening to the audiobook takes 24 hours. This audio play lasts a mere hour and 40 minutes, including a ten-minute intermission.

But it still feels long. [Read more…]

K Body and Mind: An excellent puzzle — to start with

publicity still for Wake of Vulture's K Body and Mind

These two, Jasmine Chen and Donna Soares, are really, really excellent. (Photo by Daniel O’Shea)

I liked it best when I was the most confused.

The three-episode video series K Body and Mind, which was written and directed by Conor Wylie, has a fantastic set-up and an extraordinarily stylish mode of delivery.

The story takes place sometime in the twenty-first century. A start-up called The Grove is making cloned bodies available for habitation. Kawabi has recently submitted to having her “seed”, her essence, transplanted into one of the clones. But something has gone wrong. There’s a glitch in the matrix, or there’s a virus, or a hacker, or something: an entity called The Crying Woman has invaded the system and it’s driving the inhabitants of cloned bodies to commit suicide. [Read more…]

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