Friday, February 5, 2010

And So It Goes

The Factory Theatre presents the world premiere of George F. Walker’s new play And So It Goes until February 28.

It’s about middle class collapse. The play begins with the schizophrenic daughter watching a repo man take dad’s car. Dad was a financial whiz who is now unemployed. He tries pursuing a career as a pastry chef, with mixed results. The wife, meanwhile, has fantasy therapy sessions with the late novelist Kurt Vonnegut. Things get much worse. Eventually, the daughter runs away from home and becomes a crack-addicted homeless street whore. Her body is found with multiple stab wounds. Both parents are devastated. Dad buys a gun and seeks some sort of vengeance, while Mom continues to speak to the dead, both Vonnegut and her daughter. The daughter seems much better off dead, better dressed and more together. The parents eventually become homeless themselves, Dad holding up signs scrawled on cardboard and Mom living in a homeless shelter, guarding people’s shoes. At the end of the play, she tells her late daughter that they’re okay, Dad has his sloganeering and she has her shoe pile.

And So It Goes is not depressing, but despite the inclusion of the witty Kurt Vonnegut, it’s not particularly hilarious, either. I couldn’t help but identify with middle class collapse. I remember being rich in the 90s as well. This thought-provoking 80-minute play is Walker’s 24th show for the Factory Theatre, and his first in ten years, a welcome return for a major Canadian playwright.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Light In the Piazza

Acting Up Stage Company presents the Canadian premiere of The Light In the Piazza running until February 21. Like previous productions from this company, it is done with impeccable taste and style.

The story concerns an American mother who, in 1953, brings her slightly wonky 26-year-old daughter with her to Florence. The girl isn’t there five minutes before falling in love with a cute Italian boy. He doesn’t seem to notice that she is mentally challenged, which doesn’t say much about his acumen. It’s not much of a plot, but I felt for the mother. She is faced with that dilemma, when parents of retarded adults must face the fact that their child is a sexual being with needs.

It’s a lovely production, one that transported me to Italy and made me feel like I myself was on vacation. The sparse set and the well-chosen costumes both work well, and the performances, even when they border on ham, are quite charming. Patty Jamieson, who plays the mother, has a Patricia Clarkson quality, and the Italian brothers are played by good looking actors Jeff Lillico and Michael Torontow. Torontow is especially good at channeling Marcello Mastroianni. I enjoyed The Light In the Piazza very much.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Courageous, a new play by Michael Healey directed by Richard Rose, is playing at the Tarragon Theatre until February 7. I attended a matinee on January 17th.

It’s a very funny show, particularly the first act. The story begins at a magistrate’s office, where a white trash couple named Todd and Tammy are about to get married. The show practically starts mid-sentence, with Tammy confronting her best friend Lisa for recently blowing Todd. Their marriage is officiated by a gay Catholic named Tom. When, immediately afterward, a gay couple come in and asked to get married, Tom refuses to officiate because it’s against his religion. The idea of a gay man, in a gay relationship, refusing to perform a gay marriage is the drama’s initial thrust. The pushier of the two gays, a lawyer named Brian, sues Tom and ruins him, ruins his relationship with his rich, classy Sudanese boyfriend Arthur, and even ruins his own relationship with a man named Martin Guest. The pursuit of social justice can lead everyone down the crapper.

The second act is totally different, practically a different show with the same characters and set. It begins with Todd, the white trash guy, narrating the story of how he and his young bride Tammy start a life together. Tammy is never happy with Todd’s lack of ambition, and she is angry that a Somali man named George is given the coveted apartment across the hall. Eventually, they form a close bond with George, who becomes a Christian and exerts religious influence on the couple.

There were so many delicious bits in the script, like when the Sudanese man says Canada is virtually a “theme park of liberties”. There are great, long scenes full of excellent speeches about the nature of rights and freedoms, the sort of scenes actors just love to play. Generally, the performances were very good, in particular Maurice Dean Wint in the two black guys roles of Arthur and George. This is a very entertaining and thought-provoking play, and judging from the packed house, it seems that people, including myself, really like this show.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why Pornography Is Disgusting

Over the Christmas season, the following gay porn websites issued photo sets that included naked male models engaged in gay sex while wearing those fucking stupid Santa hats:

Broke Straight Boys
Broke College Boys
Straight Boys Fucking
Young Hot Latinos
Gay Asian Amateurs
Circle Jerk Boys
College Dudes 24 7
Extra Big Dicks
Corbin Fisher
Miami Boyz
Evan Rivers
Buzz West
UK Naked Men
Latin Jocks
Asian Guys
Blake Mason
Boyz Party
Berlin Male
Men Over 30
Active Duty

Randy Blue did the smart thing. They put up a fake Christmas tree, but left the guy unadorned by festive flourishes. Dirty Boy Video, however, wins the all-time Tacky Award, for putting their model in both a Rudolph red nose and a Nixon mask. The mind boggles.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind gay porn website companies that no sane, sensible gay man jerks off to pictures of models wearing Santa hats. All we need is hot guys, good lighting, and tumescence. Everything else – jack-o-lanterns, shamrocks, bunny ears, the list goes on - is totally unnecessary.

Please stop killing erections during the holiday season.