October 27, 2011
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
As the play began last night - Fanny Britt's Chaque jour - I realized there was nowhere else I would rather be at that moment. I think it's as simple as that. I have known so many critics who should have given up the job years ago; their writing screams that they are no longer enjoying the experience anymore. There is no doubt the job can be rough but it dawned on me last night that those moments before the houselights go down is like a First Date and some critics just don't have that patience or, sadly, automatically assume it's going to be another rotten date.
Perhaps it's because I'm Gay - but first dates always mean sex. There's an old joke in the Gay world: even when sex is bad, it's good. And that's what I feel as theatre houselights dim: even if this is bad, this will be good.
After a deliciously awful show, I sit down at the computer and want to make my readers laugh - delight them.
We all have friends who can recount a bad date/sex and they're brilliant at it! They're funny and suddenly their vocabulary comes alive to weave a tale of failure and rushed debauchery. That is how I feel when I write a pan. After a deliciously awful show, I sit down at the computer and want to make my readers laugh - delight them.
And after a brilliant show, words come to me I don't use in regular conversation - I wax lyrical. I want readers to feel as awestruck as I was, as thrilled (because that's what it is). And in the theatre, before the lights go down, I wonder if this First Date will be the one I remember - the one which will get me over the humps (forgive the pun). That excitement - after 40 years of going to plays - is still there.
Because theatre - like a First Date - is about possibilities.