rhubarb festival

The top 5 shows to catch at the 2015 Rhubarb Festival

The Rhubarb Festival is a carnival ride of kooky, unconventional performance pieces. In it's 36th year Rhubarb is Canada's longest-running new works festival. From February 11 to 22 every nook and cranny of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre - and I mean every little corner, including the bathroom - will be transformed to a backdrop for various music, dance, theatre and performance pieces.

An evening pass will get you in to all the shows for the night - from Hamlet in a Hot Tub to Morro and Jasp, a sister-act of clowns. At Rhubarb anything goes, so don't forget your sense of adventure.

Here are my picks for the top shows at the 36th Rhubarb Festival.

Ocean Carving
For this performance the audience is invited to Oasis Aqualounge's rooftop pool, where clothing is optional, to witness the story of a young woman coming to terms with her sexuality and ancestry.

Lulu V.2 // Because Bad Things Happen to Bad Girls
Come and explore this wild technical spectacle about the brutal death of the original femme fatale, Frank Wedekind's Lulu, at the hands of Jack the Ripper. The workshop series will use texts written by various Toronto authors including Salvatore Antonio, Margaret Atwood, Rose Cullis, Susanna Fournier, Sky Gilbert, Jiv Parasram, Evalyn Parry, Russell Smith, and Aurora Stewart de Pe単a.

Sharron Matthews: Full Dark
This cabaret theatre hybrid piece is a fun but eerie performance that delves into the darker sides of storytelling. A three-piece band joins Sharron Matthews as she tells grim tales about sexuality, danger and other shadowy parts of an unexplained life.

Recent Future
In this collaboration with Dancemakers Centre for Creation Zoja Smutny breaks down the space between the audience and performers. The immersive dance piece allows viewers to walk through the action and interact with the set.

What's Left of Us
Justin Many Fingers and Brian Solomon are two First Nations dancers born with the same birth defect. In this irreverent and unexpected duet, they use dance and storytelling to explore what makes us sexy.

BONUS: For an unforgettable night of confessional tales, check out The WOW Project Comes Out, featuring 10 queer femme/butch voices in an evening of storytelling about what it mean to come out.

Follow Sima Sahar Zerehi on Twitter @SimaSaharZerehi.

Photo of Susanna Fornier

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