It’s not often a reviewer will instruct you not to read their review but this is one of those occasions.
1864:The Tall Hat Chronicles was so incredibly not what I expected I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it as much if I knew the zaniness that was to come.
The pre-show lively music and Charlottetown Conference fun facts gave the audience hints of the oncoming entertainment. There was a Carl Sagan quote that basically said: If there is such a thing as time travel, where are all the tourists from the future?
Interesting quote, I thought, but what does that have to do with the prospective Fathers of Confederation? Well, it turns out, quite a lot.
You see, in the future, Cows Corporation has formed a punspeak mootopia of sorts which has their citizens udderly cowtowing to it’s cowperate agenda. Re-bells for the cowse have decided to put an end to it by sending an operative back to the 1864 Charlottetown Conference when a nation was formed through quick, decisive action. The theory is the high quality of leadership is what caused the Cows Corporation’s rise to power. And the rest, as they say, is history. Or non-history.
In a very Canadian way, this play suggests that tentativeness and political blustering can be just as effective in preventing a nation from getting in hot water, or iced cream. Or could there be a ring leader in this circus?
Other unexpectedness includes poetry slams and musical numbers including a 1980s power ballad, oh, and inappropriate yet justified relationships of humans with trees and gorillas.
I really did try to warn you.