Cockroach Archy literally has the soul of a reincarnated poet, and sultry stray cat Mehitabel counts a turn as Cleopatra among her nine lives in this engrossing collection of interwoven musings based on jazz-age writer Don Marquis’ poems and comic strips.
Agile London, Ont., actor Jeff Culbert fully inhabits both characters, along with a handful of other eloquent creatures who share wise snippets of philosophy about their place on the food chain.
As Archy, Culbert fights a natural inclination to skitter out of the spotlight, choosing to stand up on his six legs as an unlikely defender of an unworthy mankind. As lush-like Mehitabel, he performs a lithe dance, embodying a hep cat who repeatedly falls on hard times, but somehow always lands on her feet.
Mehitabel constantly reminds Archy that she’s refined, a lady, an aristocrat. Clearly, she protests too much. And she reveals herself in poignant tales of toms and litters and ultra-violent catfights that are anything but refined. Still, this lady is a champ. Like fellow survivor Archy, she has an unbreakable spirit, one that lingers after the lights go down.
— Pat St. Germain
From the official Fringe program:
Meet Archy, a politically active cockroach with a critical eye on humanity, and Mehitabel, an aging bohemian alley cat with an unbreakable spirit.
"A glorious run - Jeff Culbert is terrific as both Archy (ur-environmentalist, complainer, seer, visionary, poet, parodist, wit) and Mehitabel (bohemian, wild, romantic, dancer, singer, survivor)." - James Reaney, London Free Press
Directed by Jayson McDonald.
RECOMMENDED: General Audience