Friday, January 28, 2011

PuSh 2011: Hard Core Logo Live

As I walked into the Rickshaw Theatre on East Hastings I knew that this was not going to be your regular ordinary theatre production. First off I was offered ear plugs upon my arrival (although I didn’t use them cuz, you know, I’m hardcore like that) then I was greeted by what looked like a dilapidated old theatre with yellow construction tape blocking off a section of seats (which nobody paid any attention to cuz, you know, that’s how hardcore they are). As Michael Scholar Jr says in an interview in the program “hardcore punk is not about following a set of rules”

(Michael Scholar Jr as Joe Dick. Photography by Ian Jackson/EPIC)

Based on the film of the same name and like any good spoof or ‘mockumentary’ Hard Core Logo: Live begins with a film called “Punkerland Who’s Who”: an amusing commentary about the 70’s and 80’s punk scene in Vancouver starring Joe “Shithead” Keithley (of punk band D.O.A). He’s also the Composer and Musical Director for the show. How hardcore!

From there the band arrives with Michael Scholar Jr as Joe Dick, Telly James as Billy Tallent (ever wonder where the band Billy Talent got their name?!), Clinton Carew as John Oxenberger and Tony Berner as Pipefitter and they begin to rock the house. Throughout the next 2 and 1/2 hours they take us on a journey as the band gets back together to do a benefit concert for Bucky - who’s been shot and is now possibly an amputee - and end up doing an across Canada tour. Through the clever use of video and projection and old-fashioned stage trickery some of the funniest sequences in the show are of them “on the tour bus”.

(From L to R: Clinton Carew, Toby Berner, Telly James & Michael Scholar Jr. Photography by Ian Jackson/EPIC)

Shining through with excellent comic timing are Clinton Carew as the schizophrenic bass player (John Oxenberger) and Toby Berner as the childish drummer (Pipefitter). These two have some of the best lines and moments in the play. And, I have to applaud Rachael Johnston, who plays every other character in the show including Bucky and who manages to make each one distinct and memorable.

Another one of the funniest scenes in the show is when one of the characters played by Rachel arrives at one of the band’s gigs with her “daughter” in tow. I’m not going to delve any further into that one because you’ll just have to go see it to find out what I’m talking about. Trust me, it’s pretty good.

(From L to R: Michael Scholar Jr and Rachael Johnston. Photography by Bev Davies)

Together with the Set (Cory Sincennes), which was entirely covered in black and white newsprint, the projection (Jaime Nesbitt) and lighting (Scott Peters) design really made it feel like you were at a punk rock concert. It was all bright colours and crazy images including an acid trip sequence where the projections and lighting really had a chance to go to town.

Presented by November Theatre, Theatre Network and Touchstone Theatre, Hard Core Logo: Live will be playing at the Rickshaw Theatre as part of the PuSh Festival until February 6th. There is a FREE Hard Core Creators chat today (January 28th) at 2pm at the Firehall Arts Centre moderated by Glen Schaefer

Other Satellite Events include:

January 29th – Joe “Shithead” Keithley will play a 30-min set after the performance
February 4th – Mecca Normal will play a 30-min set after the performance
Now until February 26th – Post No Bills. An exhibition of Vintage Vancouver Punk posters and paraphernalia is on at the Museum of Vancouver.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

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