There is one wish Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew wants for the world that is clear in all of his work.
He wants us to not feel alone.
The newest project from the artist that brings us what he calls “life living anthems” is a play playing sold out audiences on stage at Streetcar Crowsnest in Toronto until December 10th.
It’s called A&R Angels, and it’s a stunning personal piece of work.
This writer has known Kevin for close to 30 years. We met at camp when I brought up some drums and he was looking to jam. Fast forward to now and Kevin Drew is perhaps Canada’s best chance at having a multi-disciplinary artist that can bring audiences and artists together to make a better world.
Yes, this is lofty. Yes, it may seem to be over the top. Like, why do we even need such a thing? Well, we do. We need artists like Kevin Drew to make us feel. To make us understand. To bring us together. We need that now.
It all starts with understanding each other. And specifically with this stage play, it starts with understanding the creative process. For artists who have lived through the pain of creation and self-doubt and for audiences to be enlightened to understand what that means. For artists, there are others that are with you. For audiences, the insight that there is so much more than the end product. That song. That chorus. It came from a human mind, a human heart, a human soul. And guess what? It’s not easy. It can hurt. It can be a lot.
This writer has experienced being at the top. Our various “15 minutes” put us in a world where we belonged, but it soon became fleeting. What followed was a life of, “you are only as good as your last project.” The quest to get to the dance. To get back to that moment.
Let me tell you: it tires you out.
You question your relevance. Your worthiness. Are you yesterday’s relevance? How do you deal with “rejection that is puking on my soul?” How do you, “accept what you have created?” What do you do when, “the lights go out and the ocean takes over?” Thoughtful questions Drew poses in this play.
At the peak of this production, Drew introduces a song called Announcement which continues his illumination for the audience as to what the creative process is. “Do I have the stuff? I want to be loved. Is this enough?” These are stunning questions that gave everyone in that room goosebumps.
Finally, someone has crafted a piece of work that any creative being can grab hold of. To gain comfort. To gain hope. To gain perspective.
Finally an artist is illuminating audiences as to what their life endures creating a new beautiful bond that has been missing.
And while yes, there is a fourth wall, there was a special connection everyone felt in that theatre. A hand reaching out to state clearly: We are a common people. We are in this together. Let’s make as better world together.
The hope is that this stage play finds wider audiences in other cities in Canada and around the work. The message is simple yet incredibly profound.
As for Kevin Drew, the hope he continues to use his work to bring us together. Artists, audiences, and who knows who else.
Have you already seen the play? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.