Bob Bossin will weave a tale of gamblers, cops, fathers and sons in Coombs this weekend when he performs his acclaimed show Davy the Punk.
“It’s a one-person musical,” said the long-time folk performer, who adds that the show is a blend of songs and spoken narration from different characters’ (and his own) perspectives.
While Bossin now lives on Gabriola Island, Davy the Punk is set in his childhood home of southern Ontario and tells the story of his father.
It turns out that the quiet family man who booked talent for nightclubs had once been Davy the Punk, who Bossin describes as “not an insignificant person in the gambling world.”
According to Bossin, his father worked in the gambling business — in horse racing, to be precise — in the 30s and 40s. In fact, he eventually operated the racewire in Toronto, which is exactly what the authorities were trying to shut down in their quest to eradicate organized crime. Bossin said his father’s resulting trials and tribulations with the law created precedents that affect us to this day.
“It’s a really neat story,” said John Frame, who is organizing this weekend’s performance. “It was the kind of thing I liked so much I wanted to share it with my friends.”
Bossin said it took him 40 years “off and on” to gather his father’s story. He interviewed family members and old bookies, and read many court transcriptions, books and theses. “My father wasn’t one to write things down,” said Bossin, but added that “the cops and authorities wrote a lot down.”
Davy the Punk doesn’t just tell the story of Bossin’s father, however. He said the the performance has “many different themes.” In particular, the show is about the law and the way it’s applied, the immigrant generation and the relationship between fathers and sons. As Bossin said, it’s about “to what degree we can know our fathers and what degree we can’t know them.”
Davy the Punk will take place on Friday, Feb. 27 at the Soundgarden, which is located on the Coombs Fairgrounds. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the show following at 7 p.m. There will be an intermission with coffee and snacks available for purchase.
Tickets are $10 each at Cranky Dog Music in Parksville, Dog’s Ear T-Shirt and Embroidery in Nanaimo and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit davythepunk.com for more information.