Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Rainer Hersh: Attempted Homewrecker!?!

In my picks and pans post, I mentioned All Classical Music Explained as a show to see, writing:

I saw Rainer Hersch’s show at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival way back in 1997, when Sorority Girl Slumber Party Massacre and MacHomer were all the rage. My memories are vague, but I remember two things about this show. 1) A volunteer named S------ was madly in love with Rainer and baked cookies in an attempt to woo the Brit. 2) This show is hilarious, especially if you have any musical background.

Well, apparently S------, who I haven't heard from or seen since 1997, has a different recollection of that summer and her cookies and the Rainer incident. Here is her story:

Dear Mr. or Ms. jkelly@cup.ca, [Editor's note: It's mister.]

I'm afraid I don't remember who you are exactly, but it seems you know...or remember me from the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. It was brought to my attention by a good friend of mine who was reading the reviews for the Montreal Fringe that my name was brought up in a little "blurb" near the end of a column praising "All Classical Music Explained" by Rainer Hersch. My name is S------ [expunged] and I'm the one who was apparently "madly in love" with "the Brit". Let me kindly correct you on a few points:

1) Since 1992, I have been, for lack of a more apt term, devoted to my now husband of almost 5 years. This would include the week-long Fringe of 1997. Add that up and you've got yourself over 10 years with the same guy. And no offense to Mr. Hersch, as he could be considered 'handsome' in some circles, but there is no way he could ever compare to the wonderful man I ended up marrying in 1999.

2) I was not "baking cookies" to woo him. The cookies were being sold to anyone who was interested; volunteers, performers, staff or otherwise. A volunteer colleague of mine gave me the idea to sell my baked wares because he thought they were very good quality and I would make a "fair chunk of change", which I did. Most of my customers were volunteers and a couple of staff members, and the only performer I even remember selling some brownies to was Wes Borg and Joe Bird of the Dead Trolls.

3) Mr. Hersch was actually the one who "made the move" on me one evening at the Fringe, knowing full well my relationship with my now husband, who he had met and spoken to the year before when I introduced the two of them at the Macaroni Bar. My husband was a musician at the time, and they both spoke at great lengths about the material in "All Classical Music Explained".
When we had the opportunity to see each other in 1997, I did not suffer from temporary amnesia and forget about my fiance...I spoke to him at great lengths about wedding plans and mine and my fiance's wish for "a big house with lots of kids so they can do all the housework". Whatever ideas Mr. Hersch had in his head, I can't say, but after a very brief show of affection on his part, I said in no uncertain terms, forget it.

In conclusion, after Mr. Hersch attempted his little game, the first person I told was, of course, my fiance. Needless to say, he was not amused, nor was I. But I did have enough good grace to see his show last year, "Rainer Hersch Will Sell Out". (Without the now-husband, despite my best attempt to let him "bury the hatchet", and not in Rainer's back). At least 5 years had passed since this little incident, I had been married for a little over 2 1/2 years, and since the incident itself was almost Jane Austin-like in its "innocence", (all the ado over a simple kiss?), I was more than willing to leave it in the past. We did manage to sit down one evening and talk about what had happened, and to my surprise and relief, he didn't remember a thing about it.

In no way to I want to slander the name of a wonderful performer like Rainer. I will heartily agree that his shows are fantastic in their quality; he always gives 100% in his performances. I also admit that some of his characteristics can be considered quite "charming", and he is a very engaging person to speak with, but I'm sorry to say that at no time have I ever found myself "attracted" to him. I have always regarded him with the same amount of respect that I have for other 'casual acquaintances' in my life.

I hope this clears up any confusion you may have had about past memories of the Winnipeg Fringe.

Sincerely, S----- {expunged]

Frankly, I'm inclined to trust S-----'s memories more than I am mine. I was but a wee lad at the time. It was never my intent to impugn this lady's honour.
Still, doesn't it seem like the lady doth protest too much? Rainer, what do you have to say about this?

Send your defences of Fringe affairs of years past to jkelly@cup.ca

1 comment:

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