In Poly Queer Love Ballad, Nina (Anais West), a polyamorous bisexual poet, meets Gabbie (Sara Vicruck), a monogamous lesbian songwriter, at an open mic night. With two microphones, a loop pedal, and an array of instruments, they struggle to reconcile their fierce mutual attraction with their opposing perspectives on love.
Poly Queer Love Ballad is a mix of drama and romantic comedy. At just over an hour long, it ebbs and flows between dialogue, poetry and song to explore how different the Nina and Gabbie are, and how opposites can attract. On one hand, Nina is an atheist, a lover of words, and a queer history nerd. On the other hand, Gabbie is a lesbian with Christian views and values. She is more traditional about things, like enjoying picnic at a park, wanting marriage and children.
These stereotypes are imposed to all of us queer or not by society at large. In the show, West and Vicruck try to tease apart some of the tensions that exist between lesbian and bisexual women, especially within the context of polyamory or non-monogamy.
There is a section in the show where Gabbie asks “Do you believe in God?” and Nina responds, “Do you believe in threesomes?” There is a mix of dialogue and poetry here, which works quite well. This exchange also summarizes, in a way, how Gabbie and Nina have clearly different perspectives.
I enjoyed the humour and songs in Poly Queer Love Ballad as a lover of words and word play. Vicruck impressed me with her loop pedal skills. The more dramatic aspects of the show play out well; especially during moment where the couple talk about their struggles and wants for their relationship.
Poly Queer Love Ballad offers a fresh representation of intimacy that is not confined by societal obligations or social norms. The mix of pop music also add a fun layer to the show. It is funny, moving, and also accessible for wide audiences.
The show continues in Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille until Sunday, December 1, 2019. For details on show times and tickets, please visit passemuraille.ca.
*Photos by Emily Cooper Photography.