Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. It’s that cheesy, over-hyped time of year where a commercialized concept of love is shoved down everyone’s throats. For those of you who celebrate it, you’re likely gearing up for a weekend of sexy times. For those who don’t, it’s just another Sunday. But maybe Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about romantic love. Maybe it can be expanded to include the love that exists between good friends.
There’s a show going on right now that does just that. It’s called Total Liquidation and you should totally check it out.
Co-written and starring local improv superstars Lar Vi and Sehar Manji, the play first appeared in the Montreal Fringe Festival this past summer, where it was nominated for 2 Frankie Awards (most promising English Company and the Freestanding Room Award for Making Big Things Happen in Small Places). This show is a remount and it has been altered quite a bit. According to Vi, director Brent Skagford had much more time to hone this particular run. As a result, the play is tighter, more dynamic and has a clearer focus.
In a nutshell, the play is about a lonely rock ‘n’ roller named Hamhock Velvet (played by Lar Vi), who works at a self storage facility. One day, a woman named Stella (Sehar Manji) comes in to clear out her locker and an unlikely friendship is formed.
Unlikely indeed, but it works. As Vi puts it, “I don’t think rock ‘n’ roll Santa meets museum curator is a typical relationship, but what is interesting about it is that they change each other. They both have this profound impact on one another even though their coming together is unlikely”.
So what makes their connection work? Sehar opines that it’s all about acceptance. While each character has some pretty serious er – let’s call them idiosyncracies – they still remain not only appealing to one another, but to audiences as well. “I think maybe it’s just the friendship factor. The fact that they come together and there’s no judgement. It’s that whole thing where we are all so guarded and worried about what everyone is going to think about us in our daily lives, but everyone has a quality that will appeal to someone else. You are someone’s someone, whether it’s in a romantic way or in a platonic way. I think (the appeal) is that whole aspect of unexpectedly connecting and acceptance. It’s a hug. It’s going in for a hug and actually getting one back”.
Cute, right? If you can’t be sappy at this time of year, then when can you be sappy?
So grab your BFF and maybe a box of chocolates (the kind with the picture menu, obviously) and head out the the show! Lar and Sehar are encouraging people to come with a good friend on Saturday the 13th to celebrate what they are calling “Palentine’s Day”. When asked to elaborate, Lar explains, “well you may be familiar with Valentine’s day, but Palentine’s day recognizes all forms of love. Valentine’s Day can make people feel isolated from this romantic experience but in my life my friends are so precious to me. We want to celebrate that and honour the romance of the love of life, of having a good life and having good friends”.
See? This weekend doesn’t have to be about ridiculous bears in ‘I wuv you” sweaters and last-minute roses. It can be about laughter and closeness and checking out a fun play in an awesome venue!
Total Liquidation is playing at Theatre St. Catherine (264 St. Catherine East) and runs until February 13. 8 p.m. $12 or 2 tickets for $20 (this deal is only available at the door – not online advance ticket sales). Tickets HERE.