Winners and Losers
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Marcus Youssef is associate artistic producer at Vancouver's NeWorld Theatre and teaches theater at Concordia University in Montreal.
would say, “I feel like a loser.” She felt like so much of a loser, she killed herself. (to audience) Marcus gets off on other people’s suffering. A little bit. MARCUS Be that as it may, the logic that says – Pam Anderson a winner and Sylvia Plath a loser – I find that a little elusive. JAMIE Let me lay it out for you again. The big difference is that Pam Anderson is currently living in a beach house in Malibu and Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven. MARCUS I get that she killed herself.
performance to performance as JAMIE and MARCUS repeat much of the material that is captured here. However, they also improvise new material or draw on the larger body of text they have created over the course of doing the show more than a hundred times. MARCUS Well. You’re a winner in many ways, Jamie Long. No doubt. We’ve seen it all night. Smart, funny. A great storyteller. But this is . . . So, your whole bootstraps thing. School of hard knocks, living on the edge, self-made man. There’s a
my family’s money. Our dads had somewhat different trajectories, remember? But I hope you’d get a decent honorarium. Do you want it or not? JAMIE Please. MARCUS Great. And you know what? I appreciate your generosity. 61 JAMIE I appreciate the honorarium. But what happens today is you walk away rich, and I walk away poor. MARCUS You’re not poor. JAMIE Compared to who? MARCUS Probably a bunch of people in this room. (to audience) He and his wife make – what? About a hundred thousand
tensions get smoothed over because Long and Youssef speak with such ease – uptalking with conversational quirks – that it’s easy to forget we’re watching a show, not a spontaneous dialogue . . . The play makes us question how we form judgments based on nationality, education, and other backgrounds – demonstrating how thoroughly they divide us. What starts as a sly and often funny game of differences ends up as a nuanced and unsettling show. Definitely a winner.” — Village Voice “The chatty,
years later and it turns out my dad did the exact same thing at a party one time when he was in his twenties. MARCUS Your dad ate a glass? JAMIE Yes, Marcus, my dad ate a glass. So his cousin starts going, “Sonny, Sonny, don’t do your shit” – MARCUS Did you get the fuck out? JAMIE Yes, we got the fuck out. And that’s street smarts. Knowing when you don’t belong. ( pounds chest) I’ve got that one built into my soul. JAMIE rings the bell. He goes to his iPod. Okay, Marcus, who sings this song?