Kitt & Jane visits the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival & The Apocalypse! A Review

31 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)


Location:
Langham Court Theatre
805 Langham Crt
Victoria, BC

Remaining Shows:
Sep 1, 10:00 pm
Sep 2, 2:30 pm

Kitt & Jane is quirky enough to make me wonder if co-creator Ingrid Hansen also drew inspiration from Disney’s Star vs The Forces of Evil. If this cartoon ever gets made into a live action film, I feel she should be cast! The efforts she put into the characters she plays is unfettered and unique. She co-created this show with Kathleen Greenfield. The subtitle to this work is An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future and I can see where the interactive comes in (more on this later). Other shows this play drew influence include Gravity Falls and Adventure Time. I feel Star is closer to this play than the others when considering I have been recently watching too much of this toon during DisneyXD’s free preview month.

This show is perhaps the most technically extravagant. In between the projection work, lighting effects and musical performances (including a real live streaming event; folks can follow along on #kittandjane. Just where it can be streamed, I could only find older streams than the latest), the tale between two prepubescent teens is especially poignant. I noticed the growing relationship more than the other story beats. Kitt (Hansen) believes the world is coming to an end, and the boy who stands by her side (oddly named Jane, played by the incomparable Rod Peter Jr.) is with her thick and thin!

This show blends a variety of comedy and tragedy together into a tale of these two kids hijacking their school assembly and trying to help prepare them for the future. Concern for today’s environment is paramount, and just how we can survive borrows from George Romero and one particular Zombie movie. Tough choices will have to be made. Not many youths will learn about this show, and it’s strangely empowering. Perhaps after seeing this production, they too will consider making their voices heard, to change it for the better than be herded. It’s not like the Star Trek episode, “And the Children Shall Lead” where an invisible force is leading the youths to a destructive future.

I’m left wondering more about if Kitt and Jane will be together or part ways. This work is a director’s cut, an expanded version from their 2013 stage show. While I did not see the early version, that might have been the stronger one. The longer show was just that, and some bits could have been cut. At least the moments where the two shared that special glance was not. The innocence between the two, especially in figuring out why Jane stays with Kitt, kept me glued. The chemistry shared by the performers are amazing, and Peter Jr. also wins as the perfect Marco Diaz from the said Forces of Evil cartoon.

4 Stars out of 5

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