Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: (Montreal) V-Cards (WildSide)

Fake it till you make it or Like a Virgin?
by Aleksandra Koplik

Any show that starts with a Leonard Cohen-esque cover of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” can have and keep my attention. This clever and extremely funny play is written by Step Taylor and Jesse Stong, directed by Dean Patrick Fleming. [ED: Jesse Stong is a contributor to The Charlebois Post.] It opens and closes with 14 chairs placed on stage, forming the letter V. Each chair holds a Roman mask of emotion that helps give life to over 20 characters (aged 13-70) on stage. They are played by four talented and energetic actors:  Marcel Jeanin , Amanda Kellock, Mike Payette and Anana Rydvald , that have absolutely no trouble transitioning from one story to the next. Actually, they glide through it. The audience quickly realizes from the very beginning that this is in fact an exposé of different people’s stories of their sexuality, self-awareness and, of course, losing their virginity. The names of the characters and their age is projected onto a chalkboard at the beginning of each segment and transitions to the next with song that ranges from the vocal stylings of the Spice Girls, to Sting, to Bruno Mars – keeping an upbeat vibe in the room.

This production really succeeded at exploring the theme of sex in a basic human way: not by depicting the various positions of the Kama Sutra or the visual aesthetics of the female/male body. It really spoke about the evolution of sex, from teenagehood and onward.
What does the word “sex” mean to a 13-year old?
When does one start having sex and why?
Why is it humiliating to be branded a 'virgin' in high school?
Where is the love in sex?
What is homosexuality?
What is transsexualism?
All of these themes and life situations are approached in the most basic, but interesting way. I forgot how confusing it was to be an adolescent (glad that’s over!) and to have all these unanswered questions pop up every day. Every character’s story is believable and relatable. They shape a play that is directed for a mature audience of all ages, giving us something to think and laugh about.
V-Cards is part of WildSide

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