Ride The Cyclone (Atomic Vaudeville at The Belfry Theatre in Victoria, BC) – guest review by @JanniAragon

Atomic Vaudeville’s “Ride the Cyclone” is playing in Victoria at the Belfry Theatre July 5-17. I was lucky enough to take a ride on this roller coaster last night at the official opening night of the Belfry’s 2011 season. “Riding the Cyclone” is correctly named, as it was an amazing ride. The play begins with a funny and morbid opening.

By now most have heard of the play, but in case you haven’t—the play is about a group of teenagers who die at the hands of roller coaster accident. These are not just any teens, they are a chamber choir from Uranium, Saskatchewan, so this is Canadiana at its best. The play allows the teens the chance to explain their lives and aspirations. The play is about mortality and identity.

Clearly this is heavy material, but it is covered in a light-hearted, hilarious and at times profane way that causes the audience to laugh or gasp and then laugh and clap. How else can you respond when the town’s only gay teen explains how problematic Diversity week was? The town’s “adorable Chinese couple” left. Well, they weren’t Chinese, but Korean. He explains, “They moved from Seoul to a town without soul.” There is other witty dialogue throughout this play. I scribbled a few zingers in my program in the darkened theatre, but did my best to sit and enjoy the performance.

The play also makes references to Marx, Glenn Beck, and even a Palinesque allusion all the while entertaining. Each of the six main characters get an opportunity to tell their story and you do not think that the next one can better the previous. Hip Hop Ballet? A superhero on a planet with cat like creatures? You betcha.

The actors seamlessly draw you in so that you enjoy the teens’ quirkiness. You can empathize with the keener (Ocean Rosenberg) or “Bad Egg” Ukrainian Hip Hop badass (Misha Bachinsky). The actors played their parts with aplomb and belted out their songs. It was not hard for the audience to jump up at the play’s end and give a standing ovation for the riveting performance.

It seems cliché to suggest that this is a must see play, but you do really need to see this production. Atomic Vaudeville’s “Ride the Cyclone” will not disappoint.

EDITOR’S NOTE – I understand that Ride The Cyclone is coming to Vancouver. You should check it out. I’ll have tickets to give away to attend the play in a contest, so stay tuned.


This guest theatre review was kindly written exclusively for Hummingbird604.com by Dr. Janni Aragon. Dr. Aragon is the Chair of the Women’s Caucus at the University of Victoria and teaches in the Department of Political Science. Tickets to attend the play were compliments of Belfry Theatre. As always, I retain editorial control on anything that I publish on my site.

Related posts:

  1. Fish Eyes: SPARK Festival 2012 at the Belfry Theatre (Victoria, BC) – Guest review by @anabellebf
  2. Goodness: Spark Festival 2012 at the Belfry Theatre (Victoria, BC) – Guest review by @JanniAragon
  3. on the edge at The Belfry Theatre (Victoria, BC) #yyj
  4. Review: Ride the Cyclone
  5. Ride the Cyclone at the Revue Stage (The Arts Club and Atomic Vaudeville)

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