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Wild Nights

by Archives January 20, 2009

In a case of art imitating art, multi-talented German Über-punk rockers Die Roten Punkte, also known as brilliant Australian comedians Daniel Tobias and Clare Bartholomew, took the stage last week at the Montreal’s Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival and promptly set it alight.
Die Roten Punkte (the Red Dots, in German) features two colourful characters, Astrid and Otto Rot, who bear a more than coincidental resemblance to another faux-sibling rock band, promoting their latest album Super Musikant.
The audience was treated to an hour of the band’s music and, more amusingly, a glimpse into their highly dysfunctional, but highly entertaining relationship.
Astrid and Otto have their rock star poses down pat – they mock one another and the clichés they represent: the alcoholic diva and the sensitive artist. The music is catchy and you could find yourself standing in the aisles singing Astrid’s drinking song loudly, smacking the stranger next to you hard on the back in the spirit of jovial camaraderie. Stranger things have, and will, happen.
There needs to be more of this kind of theatre: clever, well written, with near flawless performances (the slight Australian lilt is the one forgivable flaw) and no element of artistic snobbery or alienating lessons. This show is all about pure, unbridled fun, so it may not satisfy the serious theatregoer, but Die Roten Punkte is going to give something much more crucial to the struggling art – attract a new, younger audience.
Unfortunately, the front row on opening night was a rather stoic group of 60-plus theatregoers, some of whom got the joke, and others who clearly did not. The rest of the crowd made up for the lack of love coming from the front row. There were easily 15 people wearing Die Roten Punkte T-shirts who had obviously seen the show before, and the groupies sang along and guffawed in all the right places, keeping the atmosphere going.

Die Roten Punkte plays Wednesday and Saturday at 9 p.m.

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