rEvolver Festival: The Princess Show

Aaron Collier as Princess Edward
Credit: Krista Comeau

rEvolver Festival: The Princess Show
No more performances

Posted May 28, 2017

This may be the weirdest show I have ever seen. Reading the press release might have told me The Princess Show was going to be tough slogging for me: “The Princess Show is a musical lip-synched mash-up of Dungeons & Dragons, Attack on Titan, Legend of Zelda, and Rupaul’s Drag Race, where Princess puts it all on the line to save her beloved.” Huh? Except for Dungeons and Dragons, I don’t even know what’s being mashed up. It would really, really help to be gay and totally into the drag scene to get all the references.

Here’s what I did get: Princess Edward (Aaron Collier) is a “world renowned”, bearded, purple haired, sequined drag queen who wears really ugly makeup. Her partner, Abel T. Suckizone (Richie Wilcox), brings home the bacon while Princess Edward sits around and mopes. A horrific end-of-the-world storm blows in and most of the world is destroyed. But Princess Edward, Abel and some others survive and head for the hills. Everyone is miserable. Princess Edward is miserable, too, so Abel offers to rustle up some scrambled eggs. “Fuck scrambled eggs. And fuck you, too”, says petulant Princess, and off she goes into the woods where she meets a big, brown monster that looks like a 200 lb. fudge brownie with ears.

Richie Wilcox and Aaron Collier
Credit: Jaime Vedres

When her fans, unhappy with the way world has ended, clamor for a Princess Edward performance, she agrees. She hasn’t done a show since she did Go Kabuki Yourself but, for her fans, she pulls it together.

What follows is what the show really seems to be for: a platform for writer/performer Aaron Collier to lip-sync Ella Fitzgerald scatting “And The Angels Sing”. And more.

The presentation, however, of this mash-up is fantastic. Blending anime with Japanese voice-over and mind-blowing projections, The Princess Show is fabulous to watch as Princess and Abel move through various landscapes that are constantly morphing and transforming. And, apparently, the entire show is lip-synced: the songs and the dialogue. Princess Edward’s voice is perpetually changing from a deep artificial baritone to a more ‘normal’ range to high and squeaky. Technically, the show is amazing.

However. It’s hard to invest in either Abel or Princess; they are as ‘real’ as the anime cartoon characters that appear now and again. Princess is so self-absorbed that the best she can muster – as the high point of self-revelation – is “When I hurt myself, I hurt you, too.”

Judging from the laughter and applause, I really missed out. There are no more performances but for a teaser, check out the trailer on the upintheair website:

rEvolver Festival, produced by upintheair theatre, is in its fifth year and has evolved and expanded this year to include dance and three touring shows including The Princess Show, a Theatre Outré/Heist production from Halifax; Tombstone; and I’m Doing This For You. It continues until June 4 with most shows at The Cultch. All The Way is at the Russian Hall and continues to June 3.

And, yes, once again the upintheair folks are BBQing smokies and veggie dogs all evening for your dining pleasure.