Playwright Hero & The Jem are back with the third run of their hit rock opera, Johnny Legdick. Johnny Legdick is the story of a young man (played by Colin Macdonald) as he fights against oppression, prejudice, and a hoard of vicious basset hounds, all while struggling with the mechanics of having three legs. He’ll need the help of his similarly disfigured love interest Hannah (Arielle Palik) and a centaur named Steve the Steed (Travis Martin) to best the evil circus ringleader Suckadecocka (Tadzeo Horner-Chbib) and escape to the all-accepting isle of Diversus Homo. Basically, this show explores normalcy and stigma in an absurdist, energetic, circus-freak setting.
Angela Potvin (AP): What was the inspiration for the piece?
Jimmy Karamanis (JK): Johnny Legdick kind of just… happened. One of the writers, Jonah Carson, randomly starting singing the main theme about 4 years ago and decided to do a little skit of it as part of a comedy sketch night at Dawson College. That’s where I saw it, he approached me and we just started writing with the rest of the band. I guess you can say the writing style is very influenced by South Park and Tenacious D.
AP: Are there any fun design aspects that we should be paying attention to during the show?
JK: Well the costumes are incredibly well made! I was really surprised! We’ve got a full freak show going on here! Bearded ladies, elephant men, creepy clowns, centaurs, we’ve got it all!
AP: What was your favorite part to work on?
JK: Definitely the music. That came from a real place inside all of us. We wouldn’t settle for any “mediocre” riff of forgettable lyric. Johnny Legdick’s songs as catchy as hell. That, I gotta say.
This play features a live band with ten instruments, more original songs than before and a larger cast. The fact that this is the third time that this play has seen stage time means that the team is beyond ready to put on a tight performance. While the premise sounds utterly absurd, I have heard nothing but praise for this piece and am looking forward to seeing the silliness in action. Hopefully we will also see you at the Wildside Festival for a rousing good time.
Johnny Legdick is playing at the Wildside Festival at the Centaur Theatre (453 St. Francois Xavier) from January 7-17th. Please check the website for show details.