There are four corners of a net that hockey players shoot for to score a goal.
The ‘Five Hole’ is that other spot that could lead to a score: between the goaltender’s legs.
That is where Five Hole: Tales of Erotica spends its time … and in the locker room and hotel rooms and bars where youth and hockey players and testosterone meet.
Four actors from One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre, in Calgary, will perform vignettes in between sets played by the legendary band Rheostatics, at the Yukon Arts Centre Tuesday, Feb. 24.
“It starts with an anthem,” says Dave Bidini, an original member of the Rheostatics. “An alternate Canadian anthem, with one of the women from One Yellow Rabbit.
“Then it leads into the lurid world of hockey from there.
“It morphs music and drama,” he says over the phone from a hotel room in Calgary. “It is like a variety show.”
The vignettes were written by Bidini and adapted for the stage with the director, Blake Brooker.
The music is all original and written to either move along the narrative or fill in the blanks.
Bidini offers a glimpse into one of the vignettes: A Black Hawk player is in a scoring slump and, when in Montréal for a game, he slips out the back of the arena to avoid autograph hounds and catches a taxi.
He tells the taxi driver about his slump and is then told about a lotion he could rub onto his testicles.
The hockey player takes the lotion to a high-end prostitute and …
Bidini won’t say anymore and laughs, instead. “You’ll have to come see the performance!”
Another story is about a male recreational hockey player who falls in love with the female goalie of the team.
Joan is nothing like the stereotypical lone-wolf goalie who shouts at the defencemen: “She is so cordial,” says Bidini. “She’ll say things like, ‘Go have a nice rush’.
“It’s all very funny.”
It was important to denote one was male and one was female, because not all hockey love stories are heterosexual.
“These are stories that can’t be told,” says Bidini. “You won’t hear it on Coaches Corner.”
It was a gay, erotic story that was written for a friend’s erotic story-reading series that grew into a book, The Five Hole Stories.
“I found the idea embarrassing,” he says. “I’d never even read erotica outside of Henry Miller – although his stories aren’t really all that erotic – and Penthouse Letters when I was 13 … at my friend’s house.”
But he did manage to write one called Why I Love Wayne Bradley. It was about one hockey player falling in love with another without knowing if he was gay or not.
Then he wrote another.
When he found out that One Yellow Rabbit was interested, he finished the book.
This happened in the year between the Rheostatics announcing its break up and the final concert at Toronto’s Massey Hall in early 2007.
It had been a 27-year ride that saw its albums – Whale Music and Melville in particular — make it to Top 100 lists without ever pandering to the mainstream.
Indeed, one song, Claire, did hit the Top 40 in 1995 and that helped drummer Dave Clark decide it was time to leave.
Bidini says that since only he and Martin Tielli remain up front – Tielli joined the band in its first year to replace the unwieldy horn section – they can still call themselves the Rheostatics. But they prefer being called The Five Hole Band.
After Tuesday’s performance, the Rheostatics will return to the Yukon Arts Centre Wednesday, Feb. 25 to play “a mix of old Rheo stuff and new stuff and some Five Hole”, says Bidini.
Tickets are available at the Yukon Arts Centre Box Office and Arts Underground.
Before these shows, however, they will be in Dawson City on Friday, Feb. 20.