For those of you who don't know, I am taking Roller Derby Saved My Soul to Montreal next week (after a one-night only event in Ottawa on Saturday) for Zoofest. Now, from what I can tell, Zoofest was an off-shoot of the Just for Laughs festival before recently becoming it's own thing. I have no idea how things will go, but needless to say I am a bit worried. I was a late addition to the festival, so I only get 4 performances, whereas most acts get 6 or more. In addition, the festival is bilingual and there seems to be a 70/30 split in French and English acts respectively. Part of me worries that I am going to encounter the reverse of what I had in Ottawa with Dolores (French show at an English festival). I've also seen a lot of support both in regular and social media circles for the French performances, but very little for the English.
Now, this could very well be just because I am not onsite at the moment and many of the English productions haven't actually started yet. But just in case, for all you anglophones & English-speakers in Montreal, here are my thoughts on what you absolutely should not miss at Zoofest.
Roller Derby Saved My Soul Of course you can't miss this one! This is the show that's put me on the Google map. You've got Buffy the Vampire Slayer, superheroes, short shorts & roller skates all rolled in to (see what I did there?) a funny and fun little story about one gal trying to find her place in the world. Awards, rave reviews, and in Montreal I get to perform the whole thing in a strip club... on a raised stage... This may bring a whole new meaning to suicide seats... July 16, 17, 18 & 20 - 7:30 p.m. at Cafe Cleopatre.
Die Roten Puntke - Kunst Rock (Art Rock) You guys! It's Otto and Astrid! I've seen Die Roten Punkte twice now in Ottawa and it is always always always an absolute blast! I may actually stick around Montreal for a few extra days after my show because that's how good these guys are.
Here's one of my favorites from their other show, Super Musikant:
July 22 to 27 - 10:00 p.m. at Theatre La Chapelle - ROCK BANG!
Kuwaiti Moonshine This show was at the Ottawa Fringe last year (also known as the year I missed ALL the good shows) and was getting rave reviews from everyone I talked to. I had the pleasure of meeting Tim Murphy recently and was even happier to find out we'd be at the same festival so I could finally see this one. July 18 to 27 - 8:45 p.m. at La Balustrade du Monument National
Progressive Polygamist: The Sweetest Reformers Another show that I heard amazing things about on the Fringe. I missed it the year it was in Toronto, but everyone I spoke to was in love with these women. I am also a big fan of supporting funny women. July 18 to 21 - 11:30 p.m.; July 25-27 - 8:30 p.m. & 11:30 p.m. at Theatre La Chapelle
Slut (r)evolution Speaking of funny women: It's Cameryn Moore! I absolutely adored Cameryn's Phone Whore when I saw it in Calgary all those moons ago and I put off seeing Slut (r)evolution in Ottawa because I knew I'd be seeing her in Montreal. She is sexy, she is brash, she is the hardest working woman on the circuit today. Her show has already started and runs almost nightly (check the link) until July 21 - 10 p.m. at the Katacombes
Underbelly A personal favorite and a constant source of inspiration, Jayson McDonald is one of the best and most underrated writer/performers I know. I've been told Underbelly is one of his most brilliant works to date and completely different from other favorites like Giant Invisible Robot and Boatload. Someone who is pushing his work into new, exciting and uncharted territories? Jayson McDonald is the Lawren Harris of this Group of Seven... minus all the money... and the fact that we're not actually seven, but sue me, neither were the actual Group of Seven. July 15 to 17 - 7:30 p.m.; July 23 to 25 - 7:30 p.m. Cabaret du 4e du Monument National
So there you have it Montreal! Don't be afraid to let me know what you are seeing in the comments below. I'll see you soon!