• By: Jennifer Hartley

Crack Up with Craigslist Cantata at NAC

If you’re not familiar with the strange and sometimes wacky world of Craigslist, you would be wise to visit the web site before heading to the NAC to see Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata or it may not make a lot of sense.

Craigslist-2296This show, for the most part, is based on real ads or inspired by others found on the site and oscillates between making you laugh at the outrageous, oftentimes off-the-beat items or services for sale, to feeling empathy for those just reaching out for a connection wherever they can. As you can imagine, the Cantata moves quickly, jumping from ad to ad. There are the room-mate hunters, the obscure, fetish seekers, like the person looking for someone to stand in a bathtub of noodles, no sauce for one dollar, to a hunter looking for a dead deer to take home to cover his philandering ways. While there is a lot of hilarity, there is also a lot of sadness in ads posted by people just looking to find someone they saw in a coffee shop or on the bus, hoping they are the one. The Cantata explores the desires, the needs of everyone from regular, lonely people to some of those more on the fringe of society.

Overall, this an amazing, creative take on the world of internet ads that is hugely entertaining, disturbing and moving all at the same time.  You will likely feel like an incredibly dull person after seeing it, but it is a great night out.

There are six performers and each one impressively moves from ad to ad without a hitch. All of them, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Bree Greig, Selina Martin, Qasim Khan, Barry Mirchnick  (Percussionist) and Marguerite Witvoet (Pianist/Tour Musical Director) offer outstanding performances and brilliantly capture the quirkiness and/or emotional vulnerability of the ads and those posting them, bringing each one alive.

Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata by Veda Hille, Bill Richardson and Amiel Gladstone, runs until November 22 www.nac.ca