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JOSH’S REVIEW: Cathedral City @ Ottawa Fringe 2013

Who hasn’t Goggled themselves at least once? Well, when Kurt did, he found a website proclaiming he would die in a place called Cathedral City. But is Cathedral City a physical location, or something else? Come see Kurt Fitzpatrick take the audience on a journey through one man’s subconscious. Directed by Ottawa-based Alison Cousins.

Should you see it?

Interesting concept, but Cathedral City is too disjointed to really engross you.

TwoKurt Fitzpatrick plays, well, Kurt Fitzpatrick, an actor on the operating table who may or may not die there. As he and the audience wait to discover his fate, he goes through being several characters in situations that all loosely relate to his current predicament and how he got there. If you haven’t read a preview for the show, you may be a bit confused to begin as the play starts off with one of these characters, and often jumps back and forth between them in no apparent order. This doesn’t hinder the show though, as each character’s raison d’être gradually becomes clearer before finally all linking together. No, the real problem lies with the overload of characters, as well with Fitzpatrick’s performance of them.

Let me be clear: Fitzpatrick is not a bad performer. But every time he switched from one creation to another, I never forgot that he was still Kurt Fitzpatrick. Perhaps that’s the point since he is playing an actor playing various roles, but it weakened the impact of the show for me. That the genuineness of each character is lacking, the number thrown into the piece seems compensatory, as if we would just focus on how many different voices and mannerisms he was going through instead of each actual character. Alas, while there were some fun moments, it ended up being emotionally insufficient. There is some nice use of the lighting in Studio Leonard-Bealne to distinguish the characters, especially at the end, but it doesn’t add enough to make-up for the rest of it.

Bottom line: I’d pass on this one. It just came-up a little bit short of being a soft 3. However, I will agree that Creepshow 2 (1987) could probably be used to reconstruct a half-decent imitation of our society. “Thanks for the ride, lady!”

But that’s just what I thought. What are your opinions of Cathedral City? Let me know in the comments section below.

Image for this article provided by Tracy Olsen via the Ottawa Fringe.

Cathedral City Runs June 25th, 27th, 28th,and 29th at Studio Leonard-Beaulne. For more information, please visit our preview page.


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