Think you’re good at spotting a tall tale that’s way too unbelievable to be true? Test your skills and enjoy some good times as Archer, Brum and Isador share personal anecdotes. Two of them are telling the truth and one is lying to your face.
Over the course of 30 minutes, each storyteller serves up a hilarious, supposedly true, story of determination, patience and heartache. Each performer has a distinct presence and delivery style. Archer is a high-energy delight and an unapologetically ambitious firecracker in her story. Brum is endearingly self-deprecating and hilariously frank as he takes us on his journey. And Isador has a wry, introspective, edgy energy as he delivers his personal tale of experience and growth. And one lucky audience member has a chance to win a prize if he/she can determine who’s lying.
Storyteller Jillian Welsh will be joining the gang at the end of the run, on Jan 13-15.
Story time for grown-ups with three solo tales—and one is a big fat lie—in the funny, frank Two Truths and a Lie.
A Man (Blue Bigwood-Mallin) helps a Woman (Blair) tell a joke – and the narrative weaves in and out of role playing as they become a man and a waitress in a bar. It all starts off amiably enough, then the tone shifts to something decidedly different as the Man’s initial helpful demeanour becomes something else.
Bigwood-Mallin and Blair do an amazing job of navigating the scenarios, playing out complex, layered and socially relevant interactions with candor and humour. Blair’s Woman is adorably shy and awkward as she sets up the joke, confessing her nervousness at doing something completely new. As the Man, Bigwood-Mallin is charming and good-humoured, approaching the situation in the spirit of support and assistance. The intensity of their banter, light and punchy in the beginning, builds to a startling conclusion.
I’ve been struggling with what to write here, as I a) don’t want to drop any spoilers and b) realize that my experience of this particular play won’t necessarily be the same as that of others. Here’s what stood out for me. The Man says he wants to be helpful and supportive, but proceeds to continually interrupt the Woman, telling her how to tell the joke. This dynamic initiates a loop of sorts – the repetition of the unheard – and highlights things that guys just don’t get about women’s daily lives, where women have to be on their guard, even with apparently “average,” “nice,” “normal” men. It’s an indictment of a world where women are trying to find their voices and be heard, but men are hijacking the conversation (reminding me of Sen. Claire McCaskill’s famous quote that men should “just shut the hell up”). In addition, men are the ones making the rules, but they get pissed off when women play by those rules and things don’t go the way they expected. Miscommunication and misunderstanding aren’t the same as manipulation and harassment, yet the lines between them get blurred – by mistake or on purpose.
In 2016, when it comes to sexual politics and equality, the joke’s on all of us. And the joke packs a powerful, thought-provoking punch in A Man Walks into a Bar.
A Man Walks into a Bar continues at the Factory Theatre Studio until Jan 17, with a talk back following tonight’s performance (Jan 10) at the Hoxton. Advance booking is strongly recommended – this show was also sold out last night.
Inspired by four powerhouse performers (Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Betty Hutton and Lucille Ball) who refused to be relegated to the stereotypical female roles of the day, Perry highlights the career highs and lows of these remarkable women with anecdotes, quotes and songs. Perry is no slouch herself, taking us on a 30-minute old Hollywood history tour in a delightfully dynamic and engaging performance of a tight and entertaining script. Accompanied by music director/arranger Quinton Naughton, she gives us some sweet tastes of the tunes that made these women famous, particularly Garland and Hutton, featuring a moving performance of “Over the Rainbow,” a hilarious “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun” and a rousing finale of “Rock-a-by Your Baby With A Dixie Melody.”
With big shouts to the design folks for this production: Edward George (set), Chin Palipane (lighting) and Patricia Whalen (costume and props).
Four talented dames take names and kick butt in old Hollywood in Rebecca Perry’s entertaining and eye-opening solo cabaret From Judy to Bette: The Stars of Old Hollywood.
From Judy to Bette: The Stars of Old Hollywood runs until Jan 17 in the Factory Theatre Antechamber; see the show’s page for exact dates/times. It’s an intimate space – and last night’s opening was sold out – so advance tix are strongly recommended. There will be a talk back following the peformance on Sun, Jan 10 at the Hoxton.
To book tickets in advance, call 416-966-1062 or purchase online; or you can purchase tickets at the box office tent, which opens one hour before the first show of the day (it’s heated and includes a bar featuring tasty warm drinks). Click here for full ticket/pass info.
Yesterday was a day of art and friends – “Artaday,” as my partner in creative crime Lizzie Violet coined it – as we attended two art exhibit openings and a very unique haunted house experience. Here are some highlights, as well as the details, of these events.
Jacques Albert uses a mostly subdued palette of earth tones, creating organic, flowing pieces featuring nature and figures that are both moving and haunting.
Brenda Clews combines text and figures using a vibrant primary palette for a series of electric works.
Jennifer Hosein’s beautiful paintings are sometimes disturbing, sometimes ethereal, and water colour-like in a striking use of blues and greens.
Anna Karoliina Koskinen’s works include some lovely snapshot moments of human and animal subjects, the images of people capturing a second’s worth of joy and pensiveness.
Greg Nordoff’s paintings have a sharp photographic quality to them, with images of mysterious, sexy women, as well as finely detailed architecture and portrait work.
5 By 5 closes on October 26, so get on over to the Gladstone Art Bar Gallery.
Kill Joy’s Kastle at 303 Lansdowne Ave.is a scary fun haunted house trip into women’s studies, feminist thought and gender fluidity. Our tour guide Keith Ann McWoman, a prof at McMaster U., leads us through the space, which features thought-provoking, spooky and humourous images and installations. Totally destroys the stereotypes of joyless, humourless feminists and lesbians by giving these preconceived notions a good send-up. On until October 30 – 4 till 8 p.m. daily or by appointment. Take the alleyway on the south east side to get to the entrance.
Urban Federation of Artists at Gallery Catalyst is a remarkable, edgy and eclectic multi-artist show. Here are some artists that stood out for me:
Nik Beat’s work is a selection of darkly whimsical multi-media collage pieces, featuring images of pop culture and famous musicians.
Dr. Seuss – yes, that Dr. Seuss – unique drawing style is on display, and for sale, in numbered prints of illustrations from some of his most beloved books.
Tanja-Tiziana gorgeous black and white photographs combine nostalgia, memory and iconic architecture.
Alice Zilerberg’s stunningly beautiful altered photographic images are where dream meets nightmare meets fairy tale.