femcab faux pas
Sunday night's FemCab, or "five-minute feminist cabaret," ended in a 10-minute feminist nightmare. Singers Jackie Richardson and Liz Tilden paired up for an act called Diva Station. Without irony, the average-sized Tilden sang joyously about "feeling thin" and "waking up feeling skinny" -- to the big, fat shock of many in the audience. Outrageous, especially after a performance by Pretty Porky and Pissed Off, a group of "large and in charge" women promoting positive images.
More affirming standouts in the Nightwood Theatre funder included co-hosts and character comics extraordinaire Shoshana Sperling and Kate Rigg, dancer Peggy Baker and stand-up Teresa Pavlinek. Salome Bey and daughters Saidah Baba Talibah and Tuku Matthews brought the house down with a blues number. How symbolic it would have been to close with them -- mom passing torch to daughters and no one obsessing about her weight.
The inaugural Paprika Festival offers a goulash of new works by playwrights between the ages of 15 and 20. The festival is coordinated by artistic producer Anthony Furey, a grade 12 student. "The 25 young writers, actors and directors are working for the first time without outside artistic help," says Furey, a member of the Tarragon's Under 21 Playwrights Unit. "They're the artists of the future." Playwrights include Vanessa Shaver, Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman, Emily Sugerman, Rob Norman, Sarah Gaby-Trotz and Natasha Mytnowych. Three evenings of free readings begin tonight (Thursday, March 14) at the Tarragon (30 Bridgman). 416-531-1827.
If only all first dates were this much fun. Last Thursday, comics Albert Howell and Rebecca Northan premiered Connections!, inspired by the NOW personals.
Long sketches -- including one about a jilted Hitler (taken from an ad by a man looking "to rule the world") and another about silly cyber-symbols -- were mixed with quick gags and musician Bruce Horak's clever songs. Elsewhere, Howell hilariously recreated a stupid between-sexes scene from Viva Las Vegas. Howell and Northan ended the night with two first-rate improv scenes drawn from last week's ads.
Great first impression. Let's hope there's a second date.