WHO’S YOUR DADA? By Sasha Van Bon Bon, directed by Kitty Neptune (Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander). To February 9. $15-$25. 416-975-8555. Rating: NN
Who’s Your Dada? ends with a nod to the lively Muppet Show finale, complete with off-key sax note and grumpy old men one-liner. A shame Jim Henson, Kermit and Miss Piggy aren’t around to raise the entertainment factor – not to mention the IQ – of this pointless show.
It’s easy to excuse something with the word “Dada” in its title for being merely silly and fun, sending up the very idea of art. What’s genuinely ridiculous is that burlesque troupe the Scandelles think they’re so cutting-edge when what they’re cutting up is old and shrivelled up.
Women not being able to pee in urinals; the Japanese fascination with Anne Of Green Gables; a trans man stripping to Melissa Etheridge’s Come To My Window.
These sequences get tired before they’ve even begun. A full-frontal and -dorsal demo of old sex manual positions? How 1980s!
There’s some originality here. After Sasha Van Bon Bon introduces a mentally unstable ex of hers, “Crazy Janet,” two women portray Janet in a playful sequence that would make Esther Williams smile.
Another piece finds three black-clad performers with severe Daniel MacIvor headshots pasted onto their heads moving around with hypnotic grace.
The show’s choreography – by Kitty Neptune, Jesse Dell and Shawn Newman – is stronger than its text or ideas. Van Bon Bon’s pronouncements, often delivered in an affected Elmer Fudd voice, seem less theatre than personal score-settling.
In fact, the whole show seems an excuse for a thin diatribe about body image and a bit of exhibitionism to chase away those winter blahs.
Not always boring, but not worthy of Canada’s premier queer theatre.