The PepTides present their first foray into musical theatre in this pre-apocalyptic pop jazz party at Mercury Lounge.
Should you see it?
I was completely shocked to learn that Love + Hate is the first time The PepTides have added a theatrical element to their performances; it’s so well staged that it feels like they’ve been doing conceptual musicals for years. The staging is perfect, the choreography is on point, the performances are engaging, the costumes are gorgeous and, of course, the music is fantastic. Love + Hate is a musical blast, from start to finish.
Love + Hate is based on songs from The PepTides’ two albums, Love Question Mark and For Those Who Hate Human Interaction. It’s a series of sketches about war, dependency on pharmaceuticals, the origin of human behavior and more, that all surround the themes of love and hate.
The PepTides work together like a dream. The band is incredible at what they do, and the vocalists never hit a false notes. The real stars, however, are the three female vocalists who anchor Love + Hate. I was entranced by Rebecca Noelle’s sultry delivery, DeeDee Butter’s unbelievable runs and Olexandra Pruchnicky’s wide-eyed conviction.
Love + Hate is a pop noir party held under a disco ball. It will make you want to get out of your seat and dance along. Mercury Lounge is the perfect venue, making this a very intimate musical. I must admit that I hadn’t heard any of their music before, but I can say with confidence that The PepTides have gained a new fan – and I’m certain they’ll gain many more thanks to their Fringe experiment. I would be over the moon if they ever produced a full-length musical. Put Love + Hate on your must see list – you won’t regret it.
As Love + Hate got under way, I had a strange feeling that, without being able to explain why, that this was what I had been waiting for. I can’t describe it any other way than to say Love + Hate spoke directly to my soul.
To start there’s a lot of class here. This show had perhaps the clearest and classiest style of anything I’ve seen at Ottawa Fringe this year. Not just in the sharp, distinct colour schemes and pressed shirts, but in The Peptides every movement and note. there’s no mistaking that The Peptides are polished and have it going on. I barely felt “cool” enough to be in attendance.
If there was a greater narrative to the piece, I’m not sure I followed it, but the music and vocals were first-rate and thematically well tied together. The music was broken up several sketches that were crisper and more interesting than any I’ve seen in a long time. The eye-test and the pre-interview might not have been laugh out loud sketch comedy, but they were tight, they were clever, and they came with that Peptides polish I noted above, making them thoroughly enjoyable.
This is the first show this year that I simply did not want to end when it was over.
What did you think of Love + Hate? Had you heard of The PepTides before? Which sketch was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!