Mtl Fringe: Apocalipsync: Humanity Is a Drag

HouseOfLaureen_photo1_fringe2018

Uma Gahd, Dot Dot Dot and Anaconda LaSabrosa in Apocalipsync: Humanity Is a Drag. Photo: Mathieu Flageole

Performed by House of Laureen. Directed by Mathieu Flageole

Theatre St. Catherine

Montreal’s favorite drag troupe House of Laureen are back this year with Apocalipsync: Humanity Is a Drag, a glimpse into a future world populated by roaming bands of feral female impersonators.

Marooned in a landscape of cardboard boxes and 21st century detritus, daffy Uma Gahd (Ryan Sauvé) is more frazzled and hysterical than ever, the buxom Anaconda LaSabrosa (Samuel Feria Garcia) now sports a day-glo beard and Dot Dot Dot (Ander Gates) retains her poise and air of naïve innocence even in the face of a lipstick famine.

As the title promises, the girls lipsync their way through the end-of-days with a couple of glittering, over-the-top song-and-dance routines which bring back the old magic of their previous Fringe hits, particularly their 2016 hit Backdoor Queens.

This time around, though, there’s just too much unnecessary plotting, which demands the trio actually try to get down to some focused acting, never their strongest point. The result is that there are long stretches of awkwardly-paced dialogue through which you can almost hear mournful nuclear winds a-blowing.

There’s entertaining support from Peachy Lepage who plays a maternal narrator-cum-dystopian-queen with mutated lizard limbs and a radioactive death stare. And the show really comes alive when, in a musical number fueled by a monumental hissy fit, Anaconda repeatedly destroys the new civilization her companions are trying to build.

It’s an ambitious step forward for the company who demonstrated a desire to upend expectations during last year’s Fringe with Uma Gahd’s solo show, Are You There, Margaret? It’s Me, Gahd!  Hopefully, at the time of writing, those pacing issues will have been fixed so the show reflects more what they’re trying to achieve with this combination of political satire and high/low camp. A few added lipsync routines wouldn’t hurt either. That is, after all, what House of Laureen was built on.

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About Jim Burke, Special to Montreal Gazette

Theatre writings by Jim Burke, Montreal-based playwright
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