AN INCONVENIENT MUSICAL written and directed by the Rumoli Bros., with Paul Bates, Fabrizio Filippo, Chris Gibbs, Bruce Horak, Rebecca Northan and others. July 5-14 at 5 pm. Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick). Rating: NNNNN
When it comes to Paul Bates and comedy, you wouldn't call him green. The renowned Second City vet, a member of the hilarious sketch duo the Williamson Playboys, regularly writes and appears on CBC's The Hour With George Stroumboulopoulos.
Now, two years after playing mayor Mel Lastman in the Fringe hit SARSicle, he reunites with writer/directors the Rumoli Bros. (aka Brandon and Kurt Firla ) to help them green up the Fringe with An Inconvenient Musical , a spoof of Al Gore's enviro-doc.
Bates describes the show as a typical musical love story.
"It's as if Al Gore (played by Doug Morency , Bates's Playboys partner) expanded his story and spread his message through musical theatre. It features a hero, an ingenue, some villains, robots, mutants, cyborgs and a fair amount of toilet humour."
It also contains Gore's famous slide show.
"Let's just say we have elements of his slide show," explains Bates. "Not really his slide show, cuz we'd get sued."
As in SARSicle, the Rumolis created the musical numbers with their Dora-winning music collaborator Waylen Miki . Bates especially likes a song for David Suzuki (played by Chris Gibbs ) called Kick 'Em In The Nuts.
"The song's a lesson about overcoming adversity," says Bates. "Chris plays David Suzuki like Obi Wan Kanobi."
The Firlas include useful environmental lessons for the audience, too.
"There are little tips littered or should I say composted around the show," says Bates. "Try to buy locally, buy organic, leave a small eco-footprint. And power every single electrical device with an exercise bike."
Bates himself does his best to embrace the green life.
"I drive a scooter, which consumes less gas, always use recycled paper and give the finger to people in Hummers."
But he only has kudos for working with the Firlas and the rest of their spoof troupe. "I like the irreverence. It's a very open environment for creation and creativity."
Does he see a third collaboration in the future?
"I'd like to do Jesus Camp: The Musical. I'd play Jesus like the camp counsellor in Meatballs."
Just imagine the possibilities for campfire songs.