Editor’s Note: One member of The Journal’s editorial board is a member of the Queen’s Players executive. They weren’t a part of the editing or writing process.
Those looking for a killer vibe, screaming sing-alongs, and an excuse to drink beer for charity might stop by The Mansion for Queen’s Players’ fall show.
A century-old Queen’s tradition, the Players are back in the bar’s attic this week and next for their freshly-minted production known as “D.W.ives Out: An Umbr-elievably Wonkhard AI Commentary.”
Aptly named, the show itself is as long and confusing as its title. But amid the chaos, I found solace in screaming the lyrics to songs I would usually skip on shuffle play and laughing at potty jokes I’d keep to myself under any other circumstances.
With an eclectic character lineup ranging from a sentient Garmin GPS to an ultra-capitalist flavour of the chocolate magnate Willy Wonka, the cast attempts to solve the murder of one of their own, enlisting the help of a capricious private investigator along the way.
It’s a fun time for all ages above 19, with childhood familiars D.W. from Arthur and Riverdale’s Jughead Jones juxtaposed against a sufficient dose of cursing to last you until the next Players show this winter.
Multiple digs at Smith Commerce and student politics were well-received by the audience, with the 200-years-dead Queen Charlotte played by Tryphena Evborokhai, HealthSci ’24, encouraging audience members to “apply for a job at the AMS” if they hadn’t yet satisfied their “fetish for pain and suffering.”
The cast put their commitment to gender equality on full display throughout the show, with the occasional exclamation of “fuck the patriarchy” and an equal number of cracks about male and female genitalia.
The story was notably easier to follow than previous Players gigs. The cast made sure to hold the hands of the especially clueless—or inebriated—with reminders like “canonically, I am in fact dead.” The audience was spared the hardship of reading between the lines for the story’s deeper meaning, as D.W., played by Moumita Roy, Sci ’23, at one point blurted out the main takeaway— one should never trust co-passengers in an Uber Pool.
On the musical side, the band’s saxophonists certainly stole the show with their multiple solos. A close second place was when the AI-voiced Garmin GPS played by Arielle Baguio, MPH ’25, nailed the high note in the final chorus of “It’s Raining Men” by Geri Halliwell, which was more pleasant than hearing “rerouting, U-turn ahead” for the millionth time.
The only letdown was when the beautiful acapella harmony that kicked off the second act turned in to such a colourless tune as the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” Of course, that didn’t stop me from singing my heart out.
So, point your GPS to The Mansion and get ready for a three and a half hour-long session of beer, sweat, and madness.
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