REVIEW: Kitt & Jane

SNAFU Dance Theatre's throwing holiday party to celebrate, raise cash for upcoming fringe tour

Ingrid Hansen and Rod Peter Jr. as Kitt and Jane.

Ingrid Hansen and Rod Peter Jr. as Kitt and Jane.

With the announcement of their recent Fringe lottery win and holiday party/fundraiser planned for Dec. 16 and 17, we’re weighing in on SNAFU Dance Theatre’s Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future, which opened the Phoenix Theatre’s season this fall and will tour Fringe Festivals across Canada this summer.

Kathleen Greenfield, Ingrid Hansen, and Rod Peter Jr. will take their show from Victoria to Montreal and back again, with dates in Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton in between. Victorians don’t have to wait that long to get a dose of SNAFU, however. Along with special guests, Kitt and Jane, a.k.a. SNAFU artistic director Hansen and actor/co-creator Peter Jr. present a Christmas Special this Monday and Tuesday at Intrepid Theatre.

Kitt & Jane: A Near-Post-Apocalyptic delight

A captivating balance of whimsy with a none-too intrusive emotional core. A ukulele, a glockenspiel and the tortured emotional pop stylings of Billy Joel. Plus, adults playing teenaged roles. It’s a greedy and misguided audience member who asks for any more from Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future.

 

Kathleen Greenfield, Ingrid Hansen and Rod Peter Jr. of SNAFU Dance Theatre pull from their eclectic toolkit to deliver a fully realized stage experience that is hard resist – especially if you’re someone who enjoys theatre delivered differently. Differently in this case is defined as the fearless use of projections, live music and some rather bold physical comedy, alongside a closeness to the audience that can only be described as genuine, unscripted and undeniably charming.

When 14-year-old social rejects Kitt Pedersen (Hansen) and Jane Jameson (Peter Jr.) embark on a dramatic reenactment of their field trip to Goldstream Park, they take the audience along for a ride centred around pondering some of life’s bigger questions. SNAFU has justifiably likened their work to PIXAR, in that youth and adult audiences will each take home a different message. Kitt & Jane isn’t preachy, but certainly a jumping-off point for parents interested in opening a conversation about the anxiety-inducing issues facing young people today, while exposing them to well-crafted theatre.

Greenfield, director and co-creator, together with Hansen and Peter Jr. have changed as much as 60 per cent of the show since its debut in the Belfry Incubator Project 2012. The result: a tightly-woven, well-paced piece, that has maintained its charisma and a sense of spontaneity – a perfect argument against any claim to disinterest in theatre over other forms of live entertainment. Peter Jr. and Hansen each prove their worth as skilled performers, their characters unwavering yet understated when need be, throughout moments of intended improvisation and the aforementioned physical work.

 

In a line stolen from Kitt: “We get to be the ones who build a whole new world.” Let’s hope it’s a world where we can continue to watch the innovative group of artists at SNAFU.

 

An Apocalyptic Christmas Special

The Christmas special is set six months after Kitt and Jane hijack their school assembly and escape their own deaths, when the duo returns to host their school’s annual Holiday Fair. The evening features all-new Kitt & Jane songs on ukulele and glockenspiel, as well as prizes, swag for sale, and a Christmas card craft station hosted by Mrs. Grace’s senior art class. The show starts at 8pm at Intrepid Theatre, 1609 Blanshard. Tickets are $15 general/$30 generous via ticketrocket.org or 250-590-6291.

 

Kitt & Jane will return Aug. 21 – 31 during the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival.

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