After two huge international hits, Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love and Poor Super Man, when Brad Fraser's new play Martin Yesterday opened at Toronto's Buddies in Bad Times last month, it was severely trounced by the critics.
Since then Fraser has done some reworking both on the production (which he directed) and on the play itself, and the show has been extended to November 16th. Among the changes are the removal of a show-opening, male-to-male sex scene, and the removal of both opening credits and holocaust footage (meant to equate the devastation of AIDS with World War Two's extermination of the Jews).
Fraser has also softened one the relationship between two of the central characters, after critics complained that they were two dimensional and thoroughly dislikeable. Fraser maintains he wants the characters to be questionable morally, but admits there's a fine line between turning off audiences and making them willing to watch offensive characters in offensive situations.
Martin Yesterday is about a gay inner city politician whose public and private personas turn out to be mutually incompatible.
Martin Yesterday runs to November 16 at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre. Call 416-975-8555 for tickets. --By Mira Friedlander