11 July 2015
The Doctor Will See You Know (A)
This piece is a masterclass on site-specific theatre. Directed by Michael Musi, the space was not transformed in order to make way for theatre, but rather dramatic characters and wacky scenarios inhabit the space. Audience members became patients in the long narrow (actual) medical clinic as they were taken on a hilarious journey hosted by secretary-DJ Dijon (Karen Parker) who tries to push her CDs and merchandise on us. A shocking discovery about the resident Doctor leaves everyone upset – but not for long. Parker never breaks character once, even as she begs us to leave: “Whatcha waiting for? This place is gonna shut down!” More than worth the great laugh, not to mention the lesson on non-conventional theatre.
Caws and Effect (A-)
The audience was mesmerized, evidenced by the Ooooos and Awwwws in response to the beautiful craftsmanship behind this unusual story of two crows. The Mind of a Snail duo Jessica Gabriel and Chloe Ziner (Vancouver) use projection and shadow puppetry flawlessly: the degree of precision and specificity used to create rural and urban landscapes is astounding. What topped things off was the endless stream of hilarious avian puns in speech bubbles exchanged between the two. If anything, I actually got so into the form that I lost sight of the story. A little more narrative may have been helpful. Mind you, the piece wrapped up at midnight. The standing ovation must have been merited. I would watch this again. In fact, I think it’s the kind of show you could see again and again while learning something new each time.
In this interesting one-women musical Moniquea Marion makes us laugh and think with her charming parodies of musical theatre and pop songs. She discusses the choices of whether or not to have children, as well as, the type of mom to be. What’s most poignant is her ability to capture modern motherhood, which she describes as very cliquish. There’s dancer mom, soccer mom, hockey mom, blogger mom, and many more. She portrays each one using quick costume changes and excellent physicality. Her commitment to character and being in the moment makes it easy to forgive the frequent pitch problems and a narrative that seems to move in circles until the very end. The concluding monologue adds the missing element of the plot: it’s all about making the choice that’s right for you.