Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Review: (Toronto) Andy Warhol Presents Valerie

Poke and Prod with Purpose
by Keely Kwok

This is a show with something to say. They want you to think. The extremist, radical feminist views expressed aim higher than simply bashing the male gender. Though I will admit, it was great fun watching the guys in the audience squirm a little. 

Andy Warhol Presents: Valerie is based on real life radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas and her relationship with the one and only Andy Warhol. Reality and fiction come together to create a suspenseful show where anything can happen. With forceful performances and great use of a very tight space, the actors maneuver around each other, and the audience, hitting their marks but certainly do not hesitate to go off book. Ben Hayward’s Warhol is unexpectedly funny while Ali Richardson’s Valerie is explosive strength personified. 

A lot of the gender and societal issues they address in the show are nothing new. But with the use of song, dance, satire, and audience participation, thankfully it doesn’t feel like beating a dead horse. If you do decide to see this performance, go in ready for a brawl of energy and combustible performances. And no matter which gender you identify with, you likely (hopefully) won’t agree with Valerie’s extreme proposition. But hey, talk about it anyway. That’s the whole point. 

July 2 - 13

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