Way back in my pre-Terry days (bachelorhood); I spent one summer teaching canoeing at a camp near Perth. Tried to accomplish the title of Jeff Pearce’s book but in attempting to get both of us in the center of the little vessel, we both ended up in Lake Otty; a happenstance which tends to cool one’s ardor! Ah, the joys & disappointments of teen-dom. Perhaps if Pearce’s book had been available, things might have turned out differently. The 3rd year class of UTM’s have chosen his book for their creative adaptation presentation. Photo courtesy of Jim Smagata
The result is analytical; humorous yet entertainingly worthwhile if one is Canadian and more than somewhat aware of our national foibles – sex-wise.
The entire undergrad associates, all twenty-five students participated in creating the scenaria; then acting in each of the 29 segments that cover the sexual spectrum from early prostitution to today’s LBTG communities and their struggles. All of these episodal anecdotes are under the direction of Melissa-Jane Shaw and she (with brief exceptions) has cohesively integrated each section for pace and tempo. An overhead projector, weakly depicted as a TV monitor, distends some actual photos or clippings of the characters being skewered or iterated.
The early 20th century bawdy house managers and inmates are the introduction to commercial sex and both sides of the equation are equally demonized. Canada’s Bill C36 is dissected by some of our deceased P.M.’s and their own foibles. The Sexy Canadian Political Pageant disseminates a number of our very recognizable celebrities in a delightfully silly parody. Morgentaler; Anita Bryant; Maggie; Munsinger; Streisand; Atwood and Lansberg all self-immolate. Surprisingly, no mention of Trudeau and his famous post-coital reluctance to even offer Liona Boyd cab fare home from 24 Sussex…Justin should be so proud!
There are some depressing vignettes that deal with an operational sex-change; sexual assault and one sketch that vividly recalls the Police treatment of found-ins at lesbian or homosexual hangouts. The AIDS breakout rendering touched us personally recalling Gerald (Terry’s cousin) and Larry (mine) both of whom died from the disease.
There are some memorable bits of humor. The Mackenzie brothers’ Great White North ‘splaining trans-gendering. Their defining the terminologies is almost missed due to the continual laughter. The ‘Green Eggs & Affairs” shtick had me laughing in my chair; had me pulling out my hair; had me really really care! even noshing on a pear! Hint The walk-of-Fame bit needs to have the star-plaques painted a brighter & more florescent white for readability.
The musicians, singers & dance numbers are effective and well-performed. Their contribution are more than just icing but intrinsic to the overall effect of both subject matter and treatment thereof. The audience doesn’t really know who is performing which character but there are a few standouts and one will have to wait until they are 4th year grad students to acknowledge the exceptional talents. “How to make Love etc. will be at Theatre Erindale until Nov. 22nd. NOTE: The usual parking lot nearest the Theatre is closed – one must utilize the underground lot beside the CCT building and schlep about a 10 minute brisk walk to Erindale.