Driving to Tatamagouche

approx. running time: 45 minutes

This double bill of one person performance pieces was Best Boys' first professional production, staged at the Poor Alex Theatre as part of the 1992 Fringe of Toronto Festival.

The title of Driving to Tatamagouche implies a road movie, but in this case it was a metaphorical journey in the form of a cooking show. Hosted by Julia Child wannabee Ginger LaRue (French for `the red street,' as Ginger blithely informs us), the audience watches Ginger whip up a little something to take to his sister's wedding in Tatamagouche. Of course, it's more than just a cake (it turns out to be a Chocolate-Orange Chapeau. And they're not just any old stories we hear as Ginger dispenses home-spun wisdom along with tales of being a small-town queer with big town visibility in rural Nova Scotia.

You Say Yes, I Say No, is a short work about a highly intelligent, dysfunctional adolescent hiding in the dark. Using a flashlight for illumination, both literal and textual, the actor is forced to concentrate on two aspects -- voice and face - to get the message across.

The work was inspired by and dedicated to Cory Gibbs, our reservation line phone manager, set painter, and built-in annoyance factor, who died at the age of 24 in 1995.

Despite their disparate natures, these pieces worked well together.  We were cited in the Globe And Mail as being among the ten most interesting fringe shows and found ourselves an unofficial hit of the festival.  A great deal of the show's success was due to the performer in Tatamagouche, Rusty Ryan, a well known drag artist, and former protégé of Craig Russell. Because Rusty (who appears in the movies Outrageous and Too Outrageous!) is known for being quite bawdy, we gave the work a major twist in that direction. He's also a master at handling audience reaction and, no matter how obscene he got, the audience loved it.

Excerpt from Driving to Tatamagouche


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