To put it plainly, The PepTides’ LOVE+HATE (as a part of this year’s SummerWorks Theatre Series) is essentially a concert threaded together with skits about the two biggest emotional drivers that determine how we interact with the world around us: love and hate. And I guess there were also a few digs at pharmaceutical companies. While I may not have understood every lyric due to microphone issues, The PepTides’ upbeat energy was so infectious that I still had a fantastic time.
The entire show gave off a very retro feel to me as everyone onstage was clad in vibrant colours. The female members came out wearing futuristic dresses that looked like something you’d see on The Jetsons. There were also large Fisher-Price style televisions on either side of the stage that functioned as performer seating. The whole thing reminded me of clips I’d seen from 70s variety shows.
With five energetic singers and a tight four-piece band, the highlight of the show was definitely the music. The PepTides, in their own words, are a “Canadian pop band with strong funk, soul, and electronic influences.” All five vocalists were incredibly strong singers and there wasn’t a note out of place during the harmonies. The band was just as impressive as their showier counterparts. The polished production values and punchy choreography denoted The PepTides’ cred as successful Canadian music veterans.
It’s just unfortunate that the show was in the Factory Theatre Mainspace–not because it isn’t a great theatre venue, but because they play the type of catchy, upbeat music that makes you want to get up and dance along. While the band tried their best to get audience members swaying and clapping, the constraints of being in a traditional theatre space made the participation difficult to maintain.
The aforementioned skits served as a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to the songs that surrounded them, and was performed with a camp style fitting to the retro vibe of the show. A skit involving a girl being prescribed literal rose-coloured glasses was paired with a song about war (hate, anyone?). Other skits and songs poked fun at the difficulties of getting to know someone in a world with no privacy and the problems of finding romance when you are an awesome feminist.
Spending an hour in The PepTides’s LOVE+HATE was like being in a kaleidoscope: I was dazzled by all the pretty sights and I left the theatre seeing my own world a little differently.
- Monday August 10th 7:00 PM
- Wednesday August 12th 9:45 PM
- Thursday August 13th 7:30 PM
- Friday August 14th 9:30 PM
- Sunday August 16th 4:30 PM
Individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Live Art Series tickets are free – $20. Tickets are available online at http://summerworks.ca, by phone at 888-328-8384, Monday – Friday 8:30am-5pm, in person at the SummerWorks Info Booth – located at SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St). Open August 4-16 from 10am-7pm (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee).
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows.
Photo provided by the company.