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Just got back from the Vancouver Fringe Festival: found a parking space, found the box office, found my venue, didn't get rained on, saw two fab shows. What a night.
Gemma Wilcox’s The Honeymoon Period Is Officially Over starts out with a young couple, Sandra and Michael getting ready to go away for the weekend but pretty soon we meet Aunt Crystal and Uncle Tony, their chickens (Betsy and Florence), their peacock, a cat named Hawthorne, a hamster named Leila (who spends a lot of time running in her metal wheel), an old boyfriend, a phantom blues singer/coach—are you getting the picture? There are a lot of characters in this play (I only named 10 although the program notes claim there are 20) but only one actor (Gemma Wilcox) so the stage never gets crowded but the antics of Wilcox as she adds more and more characters to the story and sings and dances her way to figuring things out (including a raunchy takeoff on “These Are a Few of My Favourite Things”) are a delight to behold.
The characters in Some Reckless Abandon include Madeline, an 18-year-old girl from rural Alberta, her boyfriend Dustin (a.k.a. “The Cowboy”), the cheery director of the Teenage Girls Jesus Camp (who is a perfect Sarah Palen clone), the Honduran camp minister, various other campers who all “smile like maniacs,” and a sexy Honduran young man who knows how to get what he wants. This stage isn’t crowded either because Cara Yeates plays every role. Her Madeline is full of sexual energy and a desperate need to get away from her small-town life where nothing happens (which is how she ends up introducing herself to Jesus (“Hi Jesus, I’m Madeline") at a camp in Honduras and having a “little chat about Armageddon” with the camp director) and is so much the typical teen that we can’t help but laugh, but when things turn dark for Madeline, Yeates deftly takes us with her (through fire and brimstone) to face whatever comes next.