Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Three for the road

Cootie Catcher, written and performed by Lucas Brooks, focuses on Brooks’ close encounters of the transmissible kind. Using a cootie catcher, better known to some as a fortune teller, Brooks regales the audience with tales of all the times he thought he had been exposed to one STD or another, while simultaneously exploring his sexual ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Laureen: Queen of the Tundra

As an American expat unfamiliar with the pop-cultural aspect of Canadian politics, a lot of the jokes in Laureen: Queen of the Tundra went over my head. However, it is to the performers’ credit that this did not distract from their commentary about the fluidity of gender and culture, against the rigidity of modern politics. ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Non-conformist jugglers, Mrs. Pirandello, and intense performance art

The New Conformity, from Vancouver circus troupe Cause & Effect, is on its most immediate level a direct commentary on contemporary corporate culture. The performers, clad in identical grey suits, use juggling and physical comedy to tell the story of one man’s rebellion against imposed monotony, which begins with the revelation that he is wearing ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Dystopia, misogyny, and carrés rouges

2056: A Dystopian Black Comedy takes place in a near-future Canada, controlled by an authoritarian regime known as the Helpers who have, in the wake of an atheist Reckoning, abolished all religion and languages other than English. Like other dystopias, it is based on controlled fear. Written by Keir Cutler and directed by Jon Lachlan ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: The No Bull$#!% History of Canada and Bar Kapra the Squirrel Hunter: No-bullshit reviews

No bullshit, just coffee: Kyle Allatt performs The No Bull$#!% History of Canada to June 21st A tight, well-paced show, The No Bull$#!% History of Canada rips through 600+ years of history in what feels like ten minutes. Given the vast timespan explored in what is actually just under an hour, it’s impossible to expect ...

Art Threat: Performing Aloha in Queer Times

In 2001, filmmakers Kathryn Xian and Brent Anbe broke new ground with their documentary Ke Kulana He Mahu: Remembering a Sense of Place. The film, which documents the lives, struggles, and aspirations of several queer and trans Kanaka Maoli (Indigenous Hawaiians), also made an important and, at the time, novel effort to explore how the ...

Art Threat: What does the word Polytechnique mean to you? – a review of The Anorak

The Anorak, written and performed by Adam Kelly Morton, goes beyond the pat answers and media sensationalism around the Polytechnique massacre and examines what made Marc Lépine a killer. Exceptionally well-researched, Morton’s text looks critically at the myriad factors that anti-feminists have attempted to derail the public discourse with, from an abusive childhood right through ...

Art Threat: Just For Laughs: Gregg Proops & Paul F. Tompkins

The Just For Laughs Festival is taking place in Montreal, and Art Threat’s Kristi Kouchakji is there to review the politically-tinged humour for us. Greg Proops: “These are the bad old days.” The word on the street is that this Whose Line Is It Anyway? veteran has a remarkably intelligent and perceptive take on Quebec ...

Art Threat: Just For Laughs: Jerrod Carmichael, Nikki Glaser & Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It

The Just For Laughs Festival is taking place in Montreal, and Art Threat’s Kristi Kouchakji is there to review the politically-tinged humour for us. Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It: A One-lady Rape About Comedy Starring her Pussy and Little Else With a title like “Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It” and a no-pants-performance gimmick, it is ...

Art Threat: Just For Laughs: David O’Doherty & What Would Beyoncé Do?

The Just For Laughs Festival is taking place in Montreal, and Art Threat’s Kristi Kouchakji is there to review the politically-tinged humour for us. Luisa Omielan’s What Would Beyoncé Do? Despite some terrible promotional copy, Luisa Omielan’s What Would Beyoncé Do? seemed promising. A single 30-something woman moving back in with her mother holds a ...

Art Threat: Daniel Higgs at Café Oto: A refuge of cultural integrity

In the mosh pit of global corporate excess that claims so much of London (UK) circa 2014, Café Oto is an oasis of cultural intelligence and inspiration. I popped in last night to check out Daniel Higgs and Michael Zerang, and I wasn’t disappointed. Daniel Higgs (formerly of Lungfish) is a compelling performer: part troubadour, ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Hue Man & The Dysmorphia Diet

Hue Man: He Volution An exploration of socially constructed male gender roles through puppetry and video art, Hue Man: He Volution is an interesting concept that doesn’t quite work. The pre-show here includes a PowerPoint presentation about sexist terms that need to be retired, all of which pertain to concepts of masculinity. This is the ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: God as Drag Queen, Big Gay Weddings, and Peeing on Stage for Poverty

God Is A Scottish Drag Queen II Where this God is concerned, nothing is sacred. Essentially an hour of stand-up performed by Mike Delamont in character as a Scottish incarnation of God in a floral power suit with a list of religion-related talking points, God Is A Scottish Drag Queen II changes focus from one ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque

“Butt sex should never be a surprise.” So begins the very catchy tune that opens Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque. Alternating skits and burlesque numbers with vox pop video segements, this show aims to “educate through laughter”, and to some degree it succeeds. The safe sex aspects of the show are largely limited to condom ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Ginger Slurs & Slut Shaming

Project Gingervitis Project Gingervitis is a smart, funny take on discrimination, eugenics, geopolitics, and media manipulation. A one-man show written and brilliantly performed by Jordan Lloyd Watkins and set in a dystopian future, the show tells the story of a lone redhead born years after redheads were thought to have been eradicated. A mix of ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Kitt & Jane guide us through the ecological apocalypse

Kitt & Jane: an interactive survival guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future is environmental activist theatre disguised as charming comedy and shadow play. Created by the team behind the award-winning Little Orange Man, Kitt & Jane sees Kitt, still quietly mourning her grandfather’s death, teamed up with Jane (real name: Lucas) to inaugurate their school’s new ...

Art Threat: Montreal Fringe: Our Creation, Existence, & Destruction in 55 Minutes

Our Creation, Existence, & Destruction in 55 Minutes is a one-man show from recent John Abbott Theatre grad Ian Geldart. Supported by stage manager Natasha Gabriella Trepanier in minor speaking roles and the work of animator Dylan Alberts, Geldart sets out to explore the big picture laid out in the show’s title. The idea isn’t ...

Art Threat: My Playwright Sister: a play about a play about a transgender sibling

My Playwright Sister, written and performed by James Diamond and Johanna Nutter, is a sequel of sorts to Nutter’s earlier work, My Pregnant Brother. My Pregnant Brother sets Nutter’s struggle to assert herself against her instinct to help her pregnant, transgendered brother. While this autobiographical piece is exquisitely well-performed, it has also been the target ...

The Scott Ross: Flaherty’s Curtain

Jim Flaherty was unethical, incompetent and he should have been fired. Those aren’t my words, they’re Thomas Mulcair’s, spoken just last year in Question Period. Yet after the former Finance Minister’s death, Mulcair has called him a good man and a great public servant. There’s no doubt that the NDP Leader genuinely mourns the loss ...

The Scott Ross: Flaherty’s Curtain

Jim Flaherty was unethical, incompetent and he should have been fired. Those aren’t my words, they’re Thomas Mulcair’s, spoken just last year in Question Period. Yet after the former Finance Minister’s death, Mulcair has called him a good man and a great public servant. There’s no doubt that the NDP Leader genuinely mourns the loss ...

Art Threat: Pussy Riot to be released from jail, leaked amnesty bill suggests

Rumblings out of Russia point to a possible imminent release of jailed Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. According to Russian media reports, the Kremlin is planning to release 1,300 people from prison as part of an amnesty dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution. A leaked draft of the amnesty ...

Art Threat: Allegheny, BC: transformative theatre that shirks corporate culture

With six internationally acclaimed albums and a well-received book of poetry to his name, Rodney DeCroo is turning his talents to the theatre. I met with Mr. DeCroo in Vancouver at a Commercial Drive café in late August and talked with him about his current project. Allegheny, BC, directed by Jane Heyman, is a musical ...

Art Threat: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad mocked in satirical finger puppet performance

From The Guardian: Anonymous Syrian art group Masasit Mati launched the online finger-puppet show Top Goon: Diaries of a Little Dictator in 2011 to lampoon Bashar al-Assad’s oppressive rule. Amid escalating violence, in January 2013 the group secretly travelled to the town of Manbij, north of Aleppo to perform episodes live in support of the ...

Art Threat: Mapping the world’s largest solar farm with Project 929

How large of a solar farm is needed to completely power the United States? The simple answer is that a solar farm 100 miles long and 100 miles wide would be “more than enough to meet the country’s entire energy demand.” The far more interesting answer, however, is that this hypothetical solar farm could be ...

Art Threat: Temps Libre: an album filled with hope, inspired by the printemps érable

Something happened last spring: a whole generation of Montrealers was mobilized, politicized, made aware that they had a voice. Finally opening their windows onto spring mornings as the snow melted into the grass, people converged outside, en masse, where the air was filled with promise. They filled their lungs with it, it entered through their ...