Review: Revelations (Agawa Saphire Productions)

by George Perry

Amy Slattery, Sarah Cunningham, Kate Stephen, David Ndaba, Jason Morneau and Colin Murphy 

Armageddon on The Danforth – It Must Be Halloween in Toronto!

Revelations is currently on stage at Toronto’s Bad Dog Theatre. Billed as a play about “sex, violence and therapy”, it delivers all that and more. It was created and performed by talented and passionate artists. Revelations is really two shows in one, and together they are one great night out!

Outside, the venue appears nondescript. Inside, it’s like walking into a baseball stadium on Opening Day. One walks through some dark corridors, then sees the place where magic is about to happen.

Sometimes there’s an emerald field filled with extraordinary athletes at the end of the tunnel. Other times it’s a dark stage waiting to be occupied by gifted artists. When my friend Dave and I first saw the stage and what was on it, we immediately raised our eyebrows and smiled.  We knew this was going be the latter.

The evening began with a hysterical performance by an “opening act:” Uncle Mao and the Red Star Review perform a rapid series of brief skits. Amy Slattery, Jason Morneau and Damien Gulde are all fantastic as they execute their “machine-gun” comedy. It is at times physical, but always hilarious. Their AK-47 delivery is more akin to Michael Richards’s style than it is to a “funniest home video” show.

By the end of the thirty minutes, the audience is engaged and participating. I think we all hated to see the great fun come to an end.

Revelations begins after a brief intermission. The set remains largely the same, smart and simple. This is excellent execution of the “less is more” school of thought.

Colin Murphy plays Therapist. The versatile and charismatic Slattery returns to play his assistant, Rangee. Therapist and Rangee have kidnapped and drugged four people, however, they are not only captors, they are also saviours.

Dave liked Therapist a lot.  “How can you not love someone who stays up all night baking cookies?”

Jason Morneau also returns to the stage, playing one of The Horsemen. Morneau does a great job. I disliked his character as much as I liked the ones he played in the opening act.

Fellow Horsemen David Nbada, Sarah Cunningham and Kate Stephen join the remarkable ride.

All four Horsemen are convincing. I found Stephen the most interesting. She found a way to make a gravedigger turned Armageddon agitator adorable. Hank Hill would probably say “There’s something wrong with that girl!”

The chemistry didn’t seem as rich during Revelations as it did during the opening act. But then again, four kidnapped strangers aren’t likely to hit it off immediately.

Revelations is more dramatic than Uncle Mao but it still packs a laugh. The absurdity of the situation makes for more a sense of wonderment than it does hilarity.

I’m recommending this show to anyone who will listen. It is fresh, funny and fun. The only real disappointment for Dave and I was that we didn’t enjoy a gyro before the show!

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and we feel fine”

Details:
– Revelations is playing @ Bad Dog Theatre (138 Danforth) until Nov. 2
– Shows run Sunday to Tuesday at 8pm (except Oct 17 and 31 at 3 pm)
– Ticket prices range from $10 – $12
– Tickets are available by calling 416-491-3115, online via unclemaoandtheredstarreview@yahoo.ca, or in person at the box office

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