Reviews are in for Sky Gilbert’s new play, I Have AIDS!, playing at Buddies until Sunday, and they’re…mixed. And I had to scour google pretty hard to find these reviews. The show is unfortunately not drawing much publicity and will close before Xtra has a chance to review it, so here’s my take: I Have AIDS! is a crass, edgy, hilarious, nauseating, maddening, and thought-provoking piece of theatre, and you must see it. Gavin Crawford (the gay one from This Hour Has 22 Minutes) is perfect as a mouthpiece for some of Sky Gilbert’s more outrageous political thoughts and HIV conspiracy theories, and Ryan Kelly gives a standout performance as a public health nurse, drag queen, and tragicomic person living with AIDS (wearing a T-shirt that reads “I have AIDS. Please hug me."). Buddies seems to have dropped the ball on marketing this spectacular play — the posters unfortunately look like public health posters, not theatre ads, and do not picture the cast at all — which may explain why the Friday night performance I saw was to only about 25 people. This is a crying shame, as it’s by far Buddies most thought-provoking original production this season, and otherwise a fine way for the theatre to close its 2008/09 season.
And coverage continues to mount for Hot Docs, which opens this week. Everyone’s talking about Outrage, the documentary about closeted US politicians, which is predictably making waves stateside. As per Xtra policy, I will resist the urge to out any of the Canadian politicians we all know about, but encourage you all to think about them and write your own punchlines.