'RELEASE THE STARS' Plays The Factory Studio Theatre thru Jan 19
Release the Stars: the Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid explores the lives and losses of Hollywood actor Randy Quaid (Christmas Vacation, Brokeback Mountain, Independence Day) and his artist wife Evi.
After a bizarre series of events including charges of defrauding an innkeeper, squatting on private property, and Randy's lifetime ban from Actors' Equity, the Quaids fled to Canada, attempting to claim refugee status in Vancouver. At a press conference given shortly after their arrival, Randy declared that the "Star Whackers", a group the Quaids believe to be responsible for the deaths of such celebrities as Heath Ledger and David Carradine, have chosen Evi and him as the next in line to be killed. In Release the Stars, Randy and Evi have emerged from their exile and are hosting an evening that illuminates and justifies the extreme paths their lives have taken.
Co-creator Amanda Barker says, "I love playing Evi: she's an on-the-edge, feminist badass. What's not to look forward to about that? Our show has evolved in only a way that this festival can allow - it embraces the ideals of independent theatre and that concept is directly worked into our show. This is a show not only for us, but also about the Fringe and its respective 'Next Stage'.
Adds Daniel Krolik, "This is the first time I've had an opportunity to revisit my work. The creative process for Next Stage is unlike anything I've been through before. I love returning to the work, deepening the layers, finding new moments and strengthening the relationship I have with Amanda as collaborators and artists. Playing Randy Quaid is so absurdly out of my comfort zone that it's become an absolute joy to embody him. It's letting me go to all sorts of exciting places as a performer that I haven't been to before."
Release the Stars was conceived as an open dialogue on the nature of art and grief, and how they intertwine. It explores attachments to pop culture, and directly addresses its audience and encourages participation as it continues. This is a piece that moves beyond mere tabloid curiosity to move, provoke and haunt its audience in equal measure.
Playwrights Amanda Barker and Daniel Krolik
Director Jack Grinhaus
Cast Amanda Barker and Daniel Krolik
Lighting Designer Siobhan Sleath
Stage Manager Nidhi Khanna
Dramaturgy Megan Mooney
Release the Stars: the Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid will play the Factory Studio Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto, now through January 19, 2014. Tickets: $15.00 available at www.fringetoronto.com or by calling 416.966.1062.
God is in the Dairy is a collective made up of core creators Amanda Barker and Daniel Krolik. First collaborating for a series of children's shows, the pair coupled their sardonic sensibilities to produce and star in The Book of Liz, a Canadian premiere of the only play written by David and Amy Sedaris. They turned their hand to writing and explored the world of love, loss and fame with Release the Stars: The Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid. When the Quaids emerged from a year of hiding to attend the show, both the Toronto theatre community and international press were abuzz. A year later, this show emerges in its newest form - as both an homage to media and loss but also a look at the indie theatre community from which it was born.