ARTS COURT THEATRE – 2 DALY STREET, OTTAWA, ON
PRESS RELEASE – September 15, 2008
Necrophiliac? Uh, isn’t that someone who likes to…? Well, yes, but, like most fantasies, the excitement lies in the possibility rather than the realization. Isn’t that why so many people love Halloween? We can dress up en costume for one night, pretend to be any sort of character (good or bad) that appeals to our imagination, and then go back to our “normal” selves the next day (unless you are a career actor, of course).
It may be a bit too early to celebrate the alluring aspects of Halloween, but checking out this romantic musical comedy is a great way to get one’s juices flowing – a bit of creative foreplay, so to speak. I liken it to a Caucasian rendition of Porgy and Bess, with a small measure of Rocky Horror Picture Show, both classics in their own right. There is no nudity or strong profanity in the play, but some of the feminist content may forever warp the minds of those with no sense of humour. Best get a sitter, just to be sure.
Visual artist and musical theatre producer Maureen Chaume is the playwright and lyricist, and Guy Del Villano, legendary Ottawa (by way of Timmins) blues pianist and composer, is the musical director and piano player in this all-original score, which occasionally leans on the honky-tonk and burlesque elements of blues music.
The story revolves around aspiring starlet Desirée and her long-lost love, Slowslide Sam, who have signed up to perform in a theatrical production called “Necrophiliac”, along with Howie, The Handyman, and irrepressible ham Beauregard Blake, under the direction of sexually-repressed Frau Ingrid Schultz.
The cast includes veteran Canadian actors Sherry Thurig – The Lonely Woman, Out of the Way, Final Curtain, The Bonesetter, and Klowns, Jim Murchison – Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Reunion), and My Bloody Valentine, and Helen Roos, who performed in community theatre productions of Anything Goes, Wizard of Oz and Children of Eden.
Supporting casts members are actor/musician/vocalist/photographer/recording engineer Laszlo Szijarto (nakedi.ca) and actor/musician/vocalist Marc Grandmaison (Elect Dan Molson), both of whom also reside in the nation’s capital area. Rounding out the musical cast are the “Fab Gals”, including Francine, internationally well-known as both a solo recording artist and bandleader of Francine & Friends (francine-music.ca) and the newly-added vocalist Amanda Strawn.
The dozen or so musical compositions are all first-rate and strongly vocalized by the actors, individually or collectively, sometimes with accompanying dance choreography. There is even an audience participation segment, which didn’t really catch on with former attendees to a great extent but is bound to become a tradition with repeated runs.
It’s a great bit of fun, even for “die-hard” cynics.
Producer-Host, “Iron Maidens”, CKCU 93.1 FM, Ottawa, ON