“did you see me?”

The PuSh International Arts Festival  is underway (January 17 – February 4, 2012), boasting an ambitious mission: to be an event that “engages and enriches audiences with adventurous contemporary works in a spirit of innovation and dialogue.

With this lofty expectation, we attended  media night at Do You Want what I Have Got – A Craigslist Cantata, currently playing at the ArtsClub Revue Stage on Granville Island.   Early reviews had prepared us for the witty offerings of Craigslist posts set to music (created in part by the CBC’s Bill Richardson) and it didn’t disappoint; the light humour of want-ads peppered with somewhat risque Want ads elicit more than a few giggles when sang in four-part harmony.

Surprising, is how deftly the Cantata approaches issues of consumerism in a disposable culture, loneliness in a crowded city and identity in this age of the anonymous interweb.    As one character is choosing to give away a collection of 300 stuffed penguins that defined her as a youth but hinder her as a young adult, we look at ourselves and assess what we spend our time and money on, wondering whether it accurately represents who we are today, who it really matters to, and whether anyone has really Seen Me today at all.

Lots of laughs, moments of poignancy, perhaps a few tears.

Do You Want what I Have Got – A Craigslist Cantata plays until February 11, 2012.

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