rico with wings final

- by Mary Little

Butterfly Tongue: A Simple Tale of a Complex Man and His Finger-Painted Mona Lisa is Owen Sound Poet Laureate Richard-Yves Sitoski’s legacy project. It is not a poetry event but a 90-minute one-person theatre piece, featuring 7 original songs written by Sitoski and wife Mary Little, and performed by Dave Hawkins and arranged for the Assembled Angels choir by Louise Jarvis.

The scene is set in 1972, the year prohibition was repealed (yes, 1972!) in Owen Sound—a town that has seen better days but which is still full of rough-around-the-edges dynamism. We follow our hapless narrator—a welder at the Black Clawson-Kennedy foundry with a penchant for patronizing bootleggers—as he staggers from the newly-wet Seldon House tavern and wanders through the city, licking his wounds after his recent doomed love with Susan, a truly remarkable young woman burdened with an angel’s wings. The story is at once wrenching yet full of dry humour, as the tough narrator's defences get broken down and his hard-boiled comments get replaced by sublime pathos.

The show is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated book published by the Ginger Press, featuring the text of the show, Sitoski’s own paintings, and three more of his plays.

Butterfly Tongue hits the Grey Roots Museum and Archives auditorium stage on Thursday, June 8 at 19:00 and on Saturday, June 10 at 14:00. Tickets cost $25 and are available from the author at [email protected], or cost $25 plus HST plus surcharge from Ticketpro.

(The show contains a content warning for references to alcohol and drug use, as well as self-harm and overdose death, which are alluded to but never described.)

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