Rob Salerno was an ambitious, frustrated journalist who managed to score interviews with all of the leaders of Canada’s political parties — save one — for the Ottawa gay street paper Xtra in the run-up to the federal election in 2008.
Naturally, Tory leader Stephen Harper, famously reticent where most press is concerned, wasn’t making himself available to the gay press to address the Tory record on issues such as gay marriage and HIV/AIDS funding. So in the unlikely setting of a high school reunion in Oakville, Ont., Salerno went a tad off the professional grid in breaking through a security cordon and ultimately redefining the term "press access."
Salerno tells his own side of the story (subtitled How I Sexually Assaulted the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada and Saved Democracy) employing a very funny PowerPoint presentation that, unfortunately, interrupted the flow of the piece with its inevitable glitches.
The back story to this incident would be sufficient, but the 60-minute show also encompasses Canadian-vs.-American politics, how Harper’s personal style has been influenced by Shania Twain and what the PM’s package felt like.
— Randall King
From the official Fringe Festival program:
Everyone’s heard how journalist Rob Salerno sexually assaulted Stephen Harper during the last election. Now hear Salerno's side of the story at this signing of his tell-all memoir!
Toronto Fringe Hit: "Sure as hell funnier than Rick Mercer" - Now; "Mercer for the anti-social" - Globe and Mail; "Hilarious" - National Post
From the creator of Balls ('08 Fringe)
A+ - Uptown
4 1/2 STARS - Sun
Warnings: May offend federal Conservatives.
RECOMMENDED: General Audience
MTC Up the Alley (Venue 2), to Saturday