Ottawa Fringe Theatre 2016: “Best Picture’” reveals the Academy Award ritual at its best!
Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht
June 20, 2016 Monday at 11:44 am
Best Picture created and designed by Rick Cousins, produced by RibbitRePublic Theatre Co, from Vancouver.
We are on the red carpet with a host, a male actor and one female actor. They are going to take us on an ultra rapid journey through all 89 Academy award winning films, just to refresh our memory. The talk is glib host-style banter. They greet all the great stars as they walk in…!OH there is Judi Dench, there is so and so ..give her a hand” as the public files into the Leonard Beaulne Studio. No doubt to give this more of an Academy award feel they should have programmed it in a bigger theatre but the three stage performers, made up for the small space with lots of vibrant energy.
It involves taking us on a rapid fly-by history of the Academy Awards by making quick funny remarks, acting out short skits and snapping witty references about different shows, so that the titles of the shows find their way into the discussion and can be easily identified. Linked to all the Wayne and Shuster style humour (at times) there is voice and body mimicry, (Al Pacino from Rain Man was one of the great moments) there are jokes which slide between various shows so that they all make fun of each other and themselves.. as the stars connect and jostle themselves into first place. It was very rapid and sometimes we lost the sense of who was referring to what but I gather in a town like Toronto where one of the worlds biggest Film Festivals takes place, film buffs will have no trouble at all.
Rachel Kent from Edmonton proves to be an excellent actress who would probably be perfectly at home in a Shakespeare play, As the sole woman she kept commenting on the absence of women’s roles as actors or as directors but she played along joyfully, changing sex and identities with split second timing. Jon Paterson was the glib master of ceremonies and Kurt Fitzpatrick was an excellent comic presence with his facial contorsions, his display of manic body language that recreated the world around us with ultra rapid Speed. An excellent cast made up of actors with different talents that all came together for this special Academy award performance.
Certainly a moment of fun that will keep the audience guessing for an hour, Best Picture is a good fringe show!!