By Michael Wheeler
Okay so Praxis is remounting Steel. It’s a one-man show that connects a Haida teenager, a failed poet and a racecar enthusiast through the Canadian railroad. We first mounted it two years ago and it did phenomenally well. It was Runner-Up for Best Text at the Montreal Fringe and then won the Producer’s Pick and Best Independent Production at the London, ON Fringe. Eventually we brought it to the t. dot for a weekend and rigged up a workshop production we presented on the back patio of Ted’s Collision. Remember, that was a workshop production; ’cause the version we’re doing now is the, wait for it, Toronto Premiere (thank you Chris Reynolds).
The original version was also performed by the playwright, the multi-talented Andrew Zadel. Andrew, selfish bastard that he is, seems to think that his work as a human rights monitor for the U.N. in the Congo should take precedence over Canadian independent theatre projects these days. Thus, the role has been recast with the Robert Downey Jr-esque James Murray (hey that’s not me, it’s eye magazine). I will be directing it again and Simon Rice joins the production as Assistant Director.
So, we are at the early stages of figuring out how this will work. We know we want to put it on in March. We know we don’t need a large venue, maybe 40 seats. We have looked at a bunch of spaces, but none of the good ones have returned our phone calls. I am looking at a new space on Ossington tomorrow, with our lighting designer, Paul Hardy. I’m hoping it will do the trick. Anyone reading this with suggestions in this regard, feel free to leave us a post.
We’re going to continue with these blogs as the production progresses. This is the boring one that you need to read to get the background and everything. Let’s call it a prologue. Catch further entries that are sure to be full of bon mots about funny things that happened in rehearsal and arguments about what the poster should look like and all the other mundane things that go into a show that I hope to rehabilitate with my propensity for witty prose. I am purposefully throwing humility to the wind here in an effort to get someone ANYONE to start leaving posts about this thing, even if it’s just to chop my ego down to size. More to follow. Stay tuned.