Out and About
“My Funny Valentine” – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – January 10-21, 2018 (Toronto)
From playwright Dave Deveau (Nelly Boy, Tiny Replicas (GayVancouver’s Top 10 Productions of 2011), the Jessie and Oscar Wilde Nominated My Funny Valentine enters the minds of people on the fringes of a murder that will forever affect them and examines the ripple effect of hatred in a community. Haunting, moving, and at times strangely comedic, My Funny Valentine cracks open the greater humanity of a town trying to heal.
A note to attendees, this is a 90-minute one-actor monologue production with no intermission, and if you have to leave at any point during the play, you will not be readmitted. Actor Conor Wylie works his way through at least a half-dozen different characters while on stage – male, female, gay, straight, young and old. This in itself is a difficult task to perform, never mind having to memorize the entire 90-minutes script on top of that, so kudos to Wylie for giving this a go.
With all that is happening over the course of the back and forth dialogue, it often becomes difficult to determine who is speaking and in what context. This is in part due to the sparse stage design, which never changes throughout the performance. Also, it likely would be more helpful to the audience if the actor had to opportunity to modify his character, even so slightly as a new item of clothing, a pair of glasses, a wig, etc. It’s a very important story to tell, but there’s fear this maybe lost on the audience if they tune out at some point from not being able to follow the story line.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be returning to Buddies, where my writing career started in 2002 as part of the Youth Program,” said playwright Dave Deveau. “From that delightful summer, to my first play in Rhubarb to the season I spent in the Playwrights Unit with huge theatre creators like Michael Rubenfeld, Andrea Donaldson and Jess Dobbin, this feels like the ultimate homecoming. I left Toronto twelve years ago, and I’m so excited for my community to see work that I’m deeply proud of, work that is very Buddies.”
MY FUNNY VALENTINE
Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Cabaret Space
12 Alexander Street
Runs January 10 – 21, 2018
Evenings 8:00 pm, matinees 2:30 pm
Tickets $20 – $30 available in person, online or call 416-975-8555
A Note about the play:
The main character Lawrence played with gender at school with high heels and makeup and sometimes ysed the name Latecia. However, there is nothing to say that he had a trans identity and that this was his world, at least at the time the play was written.
Written by Dave Deve
Directed by Cameron Mackenzie
Featuring Conor Wylie
Assistant Director Bronwyn Carradine
Lighting Design Jergus Oprsal
Sound Designer Shawn Sorensen
Set and Costume Designer Marina Szijarto
Stage Manager Hannah Case
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.