MORRO AND JASP: SAVE THE DATE by Amy Lee and Heather Marie Annis (U.N.I.T. Productions/Next Stage). At the Factory Mainspace. Jan 10 at 9:30 pm, Jan 13 at 8:30 pm (followed by a talkback with NOW’s Glenn Sumi), Jan 14 at 9 pm, Jan 16 at 6 pm, Jan 18 at 2 pm, Jan 19 at 8 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNNN
Fringe veterans Amy Lee and Heather Marie Annis are back with their much-loved Fringe hit about Jasp’s (Lee) upcoming nuptials. As Jasp’s anxiety mounts, the crisis is clear: will the sisters’ relationship survive the wedding industrial complex?
Jasp’s frustration increases as Morro (Annis) tries her best to help her sister track down the traditional ingredients: the perfect dress, the perfect veil, the perfect unicorn. Yet Morro’s well-meaning but clumsy attempts cause tensions to mount.
The absurd circus of the wedding lends itself easily to clowning: dresses that are enormous yet fragile, grandiose wedding veils and the correspondingly sky-high aspirations and expectation are all fodder for slapstick while hitting on deeper truths. In a heteronormative world that values the married couple above all else, how will Morro and Jasp preserve their bond after Jasp crosses the threshold?
Directed by Byron Laviolette and Kat Sandler, the tone ranges from grotesque (if you can’t handle stage vomit, give this one a miss) to deeply tender. And the comedy is alternately larger-than-life, as Morro flails her cheezies throughout the dress shop, and subtle, as Lee and Annis improvise quieter lines while bringing audience members on stage.
Skilfully written and performed, the duo execute the high intensity comedy while never losing sight of the emotional poignancy of their crisis. Will love lift them up where they belong? RSVP to find out.