Rhubarb Festival (Week Two) – Buddies in Bad Times

By Leanne Milech


What to say about the 31st Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre except: run, walk or skydive there – get there any way you can and DO NOT MISS OUT!  This is the last week of the festival, and I implore you to check it out.  Rhubarb gathers contemporary theatre artists in one building and curates a one-site, two-room festival of short, experimental theatre pieces.  It’s convenient, quick and cheap at only $17 for a full night of entertainment.

The last time I saw art this edgy was in L.A., and I have been a lonely, wandering, wistful little Toronto girl in search of inspiring, truly original theatre ever since my time in Cali.  Well, I’ve found it at Rhubarb, where nothing seems too offbeat to be seen in public.  As my date for the evening said, “This is way better than T.V.” And that is something to cheer for.

Here’s a quick summary of the work I saw in the hopes that a little taste of Rhubarb will lead you to seek out just a little bit more:

The Future of Theatre, Written and Performed by Jeremy Bailey

A tongue-in-cheek meditation on the (tenuous) connection between live theatre and technology.  Bailey is an electronic media artist who has been lauded by Filmmaker Magazine as “a one-man revolution on the way we use video, computers and our bodies to create art.”

Moustaches and Lipstick, Written by Lindsey Clark and Performed by Lindsey Clark and Aubrey Laufer

A collaboration between the Mac program GarageBand, glittery gold moustaches and two actors.  The pair combine dialogue with original songs created on GarageBand to explore the link between music and words.

Le Petit Mort, Co-created by Ian Mozdzen and Mia van Leeuwen and Performed by Mia van Leeuwen

A story of one woman unravelling into nudity while dealing with the pain of mourning a loved one.  This little death is derived from George Bataille’s sexually charged tale, “The Dead Man”.

Sound intriguing?  Then hit Rhubarb this week and see for yourself.


The Rhubarb Festival is on this week from February 24 to February 28 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander)

– Shows start at 8 pm and switch every half hour until 9:30 pm.  This week, there are also Young Creators’ Unit Presentations at 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

– Tickets are $17 for an Evening Pass or $25 for a Week Pass

– Tickets can be purchased in person at the Buddies in Bad Times box office, by phone at 416.975.8555 (but beware of the $2 service charge) or onlne at T.O. Tix.

Photo of Jess Dobkin by David Hawe