…Except perhaps Neil Cameron as Alcippe and Matthew Taylor‘s Cliton. Along with Tyler Brown as the lead quasi-villain of this play, this trio had me literally laughing out loud, sober. I never do this. I can sit through an entire Dave Chappelle set intoxicated and absolutely think it’s hilarious but I don’t find myself physically reacting to comedy very often. I have severe anxiety so this could be why. During Katherine-Bignell Jones‘ The Liar, I just couldn’t stop covering my face like a 12-year-old boy hearing all the dirty jokes and trying to hide my obvious giggling. David Ives‘ politically incorrect, “loose” adaptation of the 400-year-old Corneille play really charges the casting director with the extremely difficult task of finding prodigies of physical comedy who also suit their parts. This is very hard to do with community theatre but the task was exceeded by hiring these three characters. It’s like they were plucked from Los Angeles‘ famed “Groundlings” improv group that brought us the cult classic call centre comedy, Workaholics. Neil Cameron’s sad eyes reminded me of Andy Kaufman.
I’ve been spending the past few days trying to think of who Kelly-Marie Murtha (Sabine/Isabelle) reminds me of. Her nose and mouth are Julia Roberts-ish, she COULD play Arlene Dickinson in a made for CBC biopic… but there’s something just so familiar…oh I’ve realized it! She reminds me of: Kelly-Marie Murtha. Her face has been so present in the theatre scene this year (The Veil, Thirteen Hands) she truly has become a “household name” of community theatre up there with Clive Lacey, Kerrie Lamb and Andrea Irwin Brown. Dare I say it…she might even be this season’s “it girl”. I can’t wait to see what she’s going to be wearing to the Act-Co Awards Gala! Toronto Theatre Revue will be there in paparazzi mode!
As usual, the set at the Village Playhouse blew me away. It’s so tiny and intimate and they always make such a unique use of the space. My favourite part of the set was the drop windows that emerged from the ceiling. I once had an attic apartment in High Park with windows that opened this way from above and I would pretend I was Snow White opening the windows in the morning with the birds chirping and the sun pouring in. I felt like a Disney Princess and that is exactly how both Deanna Moreira (Lucrece) and Krista Barzso (Clarice) looked when the scene changed and those windows dropped down with the beautifully dressed girls delicately eavesdropping on the hilarity outside. I didn’t care for a lot of the misogynist talk of women’s appearances. Nobody in this play was prettier than anyone else. Nobody is less than a 10. All of that other stuff is bullshit. I don’t know if the original play had this kind of “woman rating” in it, but David Ives deemed it necessary for comedy and it certainly wasn’t. It was the only part of the play I found distasteful and didn’t laugh at.
Despite the playwright’s missing the beat on that particular subject, the entire play was just full of gut-wrenchingly hilarious physical comedy – and hey if you’re going to go to a realllly good comedy show, I guess you can’t have a weak stomach on some jokes you might find “offensive”.
January 25 to February 3, 2018 at The Village Playhouse
Tickets and more info: https://villageplayers.net/tickets/