Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Send in the Clowns - Morro and Jasp In Stupefaction - Theatre Review

Morro and Jasp in Stupefaction - Guloien Theatre at Streetcar Crowsnest - Toronto, ON - **** (out of 5 stars)
Created by Heather Marie Annis and Amy Lee, Directed and Dramaturged by Byron Laviolette
Runs until Jun 29th 2017

Our beloved clown sisters Morro and Jasp are back in their new show Stupefaction. Still can't exactly explain what it's about and what happened (also, spoilers), but it's quite stupendous and there are snazzy special fx, projections (ooooh) and OTHER CHARACTERS IN THE SHOW! Or well not quite a show since Morro and Jasp enter the beautifully spacious new Guloien Theatre space at Streetcar Crowsnest as late coming audience members only to find themselves at the ire of the usher (Elliot Loran!) who tries to hurry the sisters into their seats. Shenanigans of course ensue until an technical problem ensues and Seften Jackson comes out to fix the mysterious electrical problem.

Eventually Morro and Jasp find themselves in a deliriously surreal situation but their comic warmth (and hilarious asides) takes us along for the ride as the clowns try to figure out what and why this is all happening, eventually questioning a sort of existential theatrical raison d'être. It's a darker turn for the clown sisters, but after growing up and doing Puberty, becoming mice or Morro, going to work, baking, it seems natural in life's progression that the sisters reach that point in life where we question our positions in the world (or in the theatre space). The sisters continue to fight, and at one point Jasp becomes a bit of a dictator (well, more than usual), but all the while the amusement peaks through the darkness (with some help of some snazzy lighting effects).

Add in a Fedex guy (the always comical Anand Rajaram) trying to get a signature for a mysterious package, the zaniness slowly builds with a bit of audience participation and lots of cheezies. Stupefaction is less straightforward than our past encounters with Morro and Jasp but still just as heartwarming and smile grinning. Plus it made me so happy to see Elliot Loran a part of the Morro and Jasp universe (and spoiler: I do agree he should be part of a big Broadway musical with that talent)!

Photos of Morro And Jasp: Stupefaction by Alex Nirta
Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com

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