MARY ELLEN GREEN: Victoria isn’t a sleepy town

Some people say Victoria is a sleepy town, but looking at the upcoming theatre schedule, I’d swear we’re living in the Big City.

Some people say Victoria is a sleepy town, but looking at the upcoming theatre schedule, I’d swear we’re living in the Big City.

Victoria is blessed with an abundance of local live theatre choices, and this month, many shows are competing for your hard-earned dollars. There’s no better way to support our local arts economy than getting your bums into seats. Live theatre is a fantastic way to escape reality for a few hours, or, depending on the plot, it’s a great way to examine reality more profoundly (If this side interests you, check out Theatre Inconnu’s production of The Golden Dragon, running until May 18).

Our cover features Underbelly by Jayson McDonald, one of 12 one-person shows coming to Intrepid Theatre’s 17th-annual celebration of solo performance. This year, Uno Fest (May 22 – June 1) — the longest running solo-performance festival in North America — will present its 300th solo show. And that kind of longevity doesn’t go unnoticed by solo-performance greats — like monologuist Mike Daisey, who is in town with American Utopias (May 16 and 17 at 7:30pm at the Metro Studio) as a pre-Uno event.

On the lighter side, The Belfry Theatre is closing its run of a brand new musical Let Me Call You Sweetheart, a touching tale of two geriatric love-birds struggling to stay together through battles with health, pride and family (Closing May 19). Also at The Belfry, SNAFU Dance Theatre presents a brand-new workshop production of the stand-alone sequel to Fringe hit Little Orange Man — Kitt & Jane, an Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future (May 16 – 18 at 8pm in the studio).

Uno Fest kicks off May 22 and has something for everyone in Victoria’s notoriously open audiences — including two performances in French (Johanna Nutter’s My Pregnant Brother, Thurs., May 23 at 8:30pm; and Mani Soleymanlou’s One, Fri., May 24 at 7pm). Uno Fest also features White Rabbit Red Rabbit, written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, who is unable to leave his country. The play tours the world for him, and at Uno, a different actor will deliver a cold read every night with no set and no director. Five local artists will also showcase their new work in development at Uno Fest, including Andrew Barrett’s Shattered (Impulse Theatre), Emma Zabloski’s Keeper, Debra Skelton’s Sketches from the Diary of an Artist and Other Works, Jeff Leard’s The Show Must Go On and Izad Etemadi’s Borderland.

And, for the first time ever, Mr uG Productions presents the Little Fernwood UFO (Uno Fest Off-Site), presenting four solo shows by local performers, including Where’s My Flying Car? by Missie Peters, The Big Smoke by Ron Formstein (performed by Jeremy Banks), Katrina Kadoski’s Cougar Annie Tales and Lost in Space by Dave Morris (May 22-June 2 at 1923 Fernwood).

So instead of planting your garden this long weekend, support our brave theatre artists who aren’t afraid to take the risk of offering more entertainment than you can see in one week by buying a ticket and planting your your bum in a seat. M

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