LUNATIC VAN BEETHOVEN REVIEWS & AWARDS
- Winnipeg Fringe 2004
- Toronto Fringe 2004
- Montreal Fringe 2004
"Best of the Fringe" pick Toronto Fringe 2004 - EYE Weekly
***** Five Stars!
"Lunatic Van Beethoven begins with the famous composer dancing to his favourite disco song, what else but Walter Murphy's A Fifth of Beethoven! It sets an irreverent, playful tone that permeates the fringe festival debut of Beethoven who is unimpressed that he wasn't granted an exemption and was made to get in by lottery like everyone else.
The delightful 50-minute musical bio-comedy -- written and performed by Montreal's Keir Cutler (Teaching Shakespeare) -- brings Beethoven to life so we can hear his reaction to the competing myths that have grown up around him and how his sublime music has been crassly exploited. He's a bit cranky about his bobblehead doll and that snippets of his 9th symphony are used in cell phones and alarm clocks.
Cutler's joyful ode wonders whether Beethoven, with his wild eyes and unkempt hair, would be considered a madman today like in the 18th and 19th centuries. He explains the source of his lunatic reputation and points out that that doctors found concentrations of lead in his hair 100 times the norm. "Without the lead, I'm a fun-loving guy," cracked Beethoven before a sold-out performance at the Montreal Fringe Festival.
Cutler's portrayal taps into Beethoven's brashness, impatience and need to be understood that drove the German genius to such musical heights. Like the best the fringe has to offer, Lunatic Van Beethoven enlightens, educates and above all entertains with an enthusiasm that is hard to resist."
Kevin Prokosh, Winnipeg Free Press