BASH'D by Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow, directed by Ron Jenkins. Presented by Cocksuckaz at the Factory Mainspace. July 12 at 5:45 pm, July 13 at 2:15 pm, July 14 at 9:45 pm. Rating: NNNNN
In this gay rap opera, sizzling writer/performers Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow explore queer life with jaw-dropping energy, imagination and ballsiness. They play Jack and Dylan, two very different gay guys who meet (in one of the show's funniest set pieces) at an Edmonton gay bar and later decide to get married. When Jack is gay-bashed, Dylan seeks revenge, showing how pervasive violence can be.
Using rap, a genre known for its homophobia, to deal with the subject is brilliant strategy for dismantling stereotypes (the characters' hiphop alter egos are Feminem and T-Bag). Aaron Macri's beats are sophisticated and catchy (Pachelbel and Debussy get sampled along with George Michael), while the rhymes surprise every single time.
Unabashedly political and proud (the religious right doesn't come off well, and these guys are from the West, so they should know), it's one of the strongest Fringe shows I've ever seen. Ron Jenkins directs so efficiently, there's not a wasted minute. Buddies, can you remount?