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Making Love in a Canoe explores what it means to be Canadian

Jonathan Petrychyn
A&C Editor

Making Love in a Canoe
The Artesian
Jan. 31 to Feb. 5
8 p.m.
$20 for students

Despite the provocative title, Making Love in a Canoe creator and performer Kyle Golemba insisted “there is no live canoe lovemaking” in the show.

Making Love in a Canoe is a revue of Canadian musical theatre performed primarily by a fully clothed Golemba with help from Adam White, who acts as the show’s musical director. The piece is unlike a traditional narrative play that you might expect from Golden Apple Theatre, which is producing the performance, in that its focus is on the musical content and not on the story.

“It’s a collection of really great Canadian musical theatre songs intertwined with tales from Canadian theatre, both from my own experience and from the shows themselves,” Golemba said.

“[Our] revue is like a great overview, like a birds-eye view of Canadian musicals. I attempt to be the tour guide, and take you through a wide collection of material that has a through line that you might not clue into until the very end.”

Making Love in Canoe is about Canada, and focuses on Golemba’s love of Canada. So it’s fitting that Golemba would pick a uniquely Canadian title to go with his uniquely Canadian show. The title comes from the Pierre Berton quote “A Canadian is someone who can make love in a canoe,” a quote Golemba came across during research for the show.

“I saw that and immediately thought that would make a really great, like very Canadian title that’s also quite eye-catching, which, you know, obviously you want to pique peoples’ interest,” Golemba said.

Golemba hopes that the revue can be a lesson in Canadian musical theatre which, despite his extensive training over the past decade, even he hasn’t been exposed to.

“I’ve done I’ve been performing for ten years now pretty much professionally, and I’ve only done three actual Canadian musicals in that time. I guess four if you count one of the revues I did in Charlottetown,” Golemba said. “So while I have a great interest in Canadian musicals, I haven’t gotten much of an opportunity to do much of them, which is part of what the show is about –  promoting the work that isn’t necessarily done that often.”

Even if the only music you recognize from the piece is the music from Anne of Green Gables, Golemba believes the audience will find something they will love in the discovery of new music.

“I think the best thing about the music is that it’s from a bunch of different shows and a bunch of different writers, so even if there’s a song that doesn’t necessarily totally appeal to you, the next song might be something that really hit you,” Golemba said. “I think that kind of collection of tunes is what can be really fun about the show. There’s going to be one song that everyone walks away going, ‘That was something I really connected to.’”

And it’s that connection that Golemba wants his audience to feel across the piece:a connection not only to the music, but to the very passion for Canada that runs through the entire piece.

“The real connector is Canadian theatre and the love of Canada. And I think that is what drives the piece for the most part,” Golemba said. “It kind of feels like this mish-mash of songs and stories, but looking at it as a whole it’s Canadian, and to me that is Canada, because regionally and the whole mosaic of Canada, it’s a bunch of parts that just don’t fit together. But when you look at them as a whole, they do.”

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