Also on now at The Fringe, is Loon, which I took in this afternoon.
Presented by Portland, Oregon-based theatre company WONDERHEADS,i the one-“man”-showii was certifiably 100% free of spoken words.iii The scripted one-hour performance was a slapsticky if not particularly light-hearted view of the tragicomic life and times of Francis, a janitor who loved feeding ducks, the colour plaid, romantic movies, and his mother, even though she was now only a pile of ashes in a jar under his arm. The crowd was constantly aww’ing at the poor sop, for which credit and compliment are to be rightfully paid to Kate Braidwood, who crafted the exquisite over-sized facemask that she herself donned on stage. Really, for a fixed mask, it portrayed no shortage of emotional range – from excitement, eagerness, sadness, loneliness, and more – all without moving a muscle. Even for a semi-autist like myself, that was impressive.
Apparently not impressive enough, however, at least not enough to keep my eyes open for more than a minute or two at a stretch. Neither I nor my date could stay awake for the damned thing ! Blame the frequent black-out scene changes, blame the Portland Cello Project music, blame the midday moon, blame the lack of spoken word, but don’t blame me – I was well-slept and caffeinated, damn it ! It felt like we were in university lecture hall again. Warm, cozy, dozy… Lune indeed.iv
As such, I must unfortunately advise you against trusting the 5-star reviews from the CBC, Journal, Herald, and whoever else. Not that I suspect these reviews of being gamed at the putrid TomatoMeter level, but once more that one “notable” reviewer tosses their name behind a production, the slow-witted sycophants at the other “media publications” either don’t have the wherewithal or the balls to publicly disagree. Not like these reviewers are in your WoT anyways, or at least they’re not in mine.
Anyways, it’s hardly a must-see this year. Carrying on.
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- Hey Ben, you heard of these guys ? ↩
- (Well, “man”-who-at-the-curtain-call-turned-out-to-be-a-woman-after-all-even-though-I-was-convincingly-persuaded-to-the-contrary.↩
- The voice recording that Francis heard when he called the dating hotline, informing him that, no, he didn’t have a date, didn’t count. Nor did it count when the comitragic “sanitation engineer” called back and was told my the voice recording that he did indeed have a date, and just had to press “1” to confirm.↩
- But maybe you’re looking for a quick and quiet reprieve from the kids, in which case, don’t let me stand in your way.↩