by Sandy Gibson & Mark MacDonald
48 min / Comedy, Musical / G
My God, I wanted to hate this show! 10 minutes in! My God in heaven, I wanted to hate this show. Confederemix so cheezy, so embarrassing so “School-House-Rock-Canadian.” It’s so children’s theatre chic! They are singing parody songs, for God sake! They literally couldn’t have made a show designed for me to hate more unless they added face paint…
Gentle Reader, I kind of love Confederemix. The act of watching this show is an act of embarrassment – I literally made eye contact at one point or another with every person around me, asking for permission to find this what it is. Utterly charming and at times troublingly laugh inducing. Even now! Admitting that this show is hilarious and funny is a challenge. But it is both those things, and I learned some new things about George-Étienne Cartier in the process.
So look, this is a karaoke parody song musical about Confederation that spans about 50 or so years. The entire show is performed in hammy, so hammy, roast-pig-on-a-stick hammy accents. You will hear the cast “interpret” songs ranging from R Kelly’s “Ignition,” to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” They will educate you through reworked versions of Alanis’s “I’m a Bitch,” and Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind.”
Don’t think that sounds good? I didn’t either. This won’t help – but when they sing Billy Joel they change the line to “We going to start a fire of annexation through confederation.” My God Gentle Reader, I can’t believe I like this show.
This cast, this creative team, this director! They sell it! They sell it so well, Gentle Reader! Hillary Peck steals the show – her performance is so inclusive, so ingratiating, that you can’t help but cheer for her and that leads you to cheer for the whole team who are all delightful in their own unique way! These guys put on a Karaoke Canadian Parody Musical whose tech stopped working for a major number in the show and it didn’t matter because the audience was on board. We clapped along to the beat of “Minority” so that the actors had something to sing to. Kevin Reid, who played Thomas D’Arcy McGee, forgot an entire verse of the stellar closing number and it didn’t matter, I think Gentle Reader that it actually made us like him and the show more.
Gosh Darnit, Gentle Reader, I want these fellas to do well – I like this show a heck of a lot and I’m not ashamed (read as totally ashamed, so very ashamed, I’m sorry!) to admit it. Hillary Peck might deserve best actor for this one, I can’t believe it but she might. How do I love this show so much? How did this show work so well? What is happening to me? I need a drink, I need to lay down, I need something…
Confederemix by Sandy Gibson & Mark MacDonald is playing at St. Paul’s Eastern United Church (473 Cumberland St) until Saturday June 17, 2017. Tickets cost $12 online and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the show schedule and box office info. Apt613 is trying to see every show on opening weekend of the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.