It was the night of G20 and during all the riots, the looting and the burning cars, life on the west end of the city carried on. Despite TTC on hold, and traffic diverted, and riot police blocking intersections, Leonard Cervantes’s “Shotgun Wedding”, directed by Catherine Hernandez went on. Despite external factors of the G20 holding up volunteers and slowing down the shuttle of supplies and inventory from Kapisanan, (yours truly had to utilize the milk cart on the back of his bicycle and make multiple trips delivering AV equipment through Dundas traffice) the show went on, and it was a success!
Retro. Oldschool. Back in the day. My day. 1993 and onward. Those were my good years. And there’s no better way to remember the good years other than remixing the hits of that not so long ago era. Boys II Men, Mariah Carey, All 4 One, KC & JoJo, House of Pain, Kriss Kross, Cypress Hill, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Wu Tang, Ace of Base, Take That, Skee Lo, Paula Abdul.
“Shotgun Wedding” was a 90s musical mixtape about 9 months of the best years of our lives. Written by Leonard Cervantes and directed by Catherine Hernandez, “Shotgun Wedding” was a blast from my high school past where life was simple but got complicated really fast. It was a time where we worried and obsesses over the most menial of things like who’s going to take who to the prom, or whether or not one could afford that new pair of converses.
For some of us, it was those little problems that we started to miss all of the sudden, thinking they weren’t so big after all, and would be willing to trade them back for real life issues, those quick bolts of reality.
The play was done as an interactive piece where the amazing actors merged with the crowds, opening up the play with a little intro of ambiguity. “What are these guys doing playing basketball in the middle of the crowd, in a dance hall?” The music ensemble, by Kierscey Rand, was an amazing mix of originals and old school 90s R&B hits that merged and was timed well with the script. The script played on themes of interracial dating, teen pregnancy, and unrequited love. Stuff I remember from high school. The stuff I remember going through, holding friends’ hands through their troubles and mine, hanging out with the boys talking about how life was boring and unfair and how we couldn’t wait to grow up, not realizing that one of our boys grew up real fast real quick.
The party afterwards was again an amazing mix of the greatest 90s hits. DJ Mensa spun tracks that got the crowd screaming with nostalgia. It’s been ages since I’ve heard girls screaming lyrics of Ace of Base and Backstreet boys. It was a definite time warp to Prom ’93 and the old days of basement parties. Even the beginning of it all had that whole wallflower feel where boys sat on one side of the room and girls sat on the other side of the room, until, I guess, everyone remembered how old they actually were and started to mingle with drinks in their hands screaming woop woop, hell yeah to tunes of Erik Morrison and Genuine.
It was a hell of a night, and despite all the antics of the G20 violence going on in the city, we partied it up like it was 1993, like it was really the best years of our lives once again. Thank you Kapisanan Arts Centre and Carlos Bulosan Theatre and DJ Mensa for throwing a kick ass party! And thanks Shutterbug booth for taking such awesome pics of some great memories!