Show: Live Your Prime, with Damien Frost.
Playwright/s: Created by the One Yellow Rabbit Ensemble.
Production Company/theatre space: One Yellow Rabbit, as part of the High Performance Rodeo in the Big Secret Theatre at the Arts Commons.
Length: One act (85 mins., no intermission).
Premise: Damien Frost with the help of his fifth wife, Darlene, struggles to hold onto his vision and his life’s work as a motivational guru when sabotaged.
Why this play? Why now?: The theme comes more into focus as the once young bunnies have now affectionately become elderbuns — artists in their prime. If this show doesn’t elicit more nominations and awards it would be another “Crime of the Century.”
Curiosities: I wondered if there was not a scene missing when two characters meet up for the first time after catastrophic events, but we meet them two years later. I also wondered if like me, the audience was tempted to sing along to the rock song that peaked in 1974. (The more pedantic side of me wondered how they got the rights.)
Notable lines: “My Struggle – not by Hitler,” and “You ARE the different drummer.”
Notable writing: There is poignancy behind the parody and an elegance in its philosophy.
Notable performances: The lithe Denise Clarke alludes to another American super tramp but then she gets a soul. Andy Curtis is the damaged adult child who lives in the shadow of his father. John Murrell maintains a tired Tony (Robbins)-like creature, but with a certain Ray Ban coolness.
Notable design/production: The lighting plot (by Blake Brooker and Geoff Buchanan) is particularly effective as we move from outdoors to indoors to backstage to “show time.”
Notable direction: Brooker joins his fellows with shelves groaning with awards from his work with the Rabbits over the years. The smart decision he makes in this production is to keep the focus on the “camera” and forego the temptation to whip the audience into a meta frenzy.
One reason to see this show: Like a yellow diamond, this is a show that can’t be put together by the kids in theatre. Shows like this are created under pressure by the pros and become more valuable with the passing of time.
Live Your Prime, with Damien Frost runs until Jan. 19 in the Big Secret Theatre in Arts Commons. For showtimes and tickets please go to https://www.hprodeo.ca/.
Caroline Russell-King is a playwright, dramaturg, and instructor. She is a member of The Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Dramatist Guild of America and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You can find her work here www.carolinerussellking.com.A