Just came back from seeing Théâtre Français’ English edition of The [Post] Mistress at CanStage, and it was just wonderful. Beautiful, uplifting, lively, an astounding job by the sole actor on stage, who managed to captivate a sold out crowd for two and a half hours with her endearing charm, her juicy gossip and her killer pipes. The show was in a cabaret style, with the lead accompanied throughout by the playwright, Tomson Highway, on piano, and Marcus Ali on sax. Just fantastic.
There’s one number in there that just had me in stitches, a piece in which the empassioned lead sings about a sexy Argentinian man, Ariel Juan Eduardo Javier Manuel Rodrigo etc etc at which point I died laughing, since I know all too well a man who has a grand total of six given names. Spot on.
I had the pleasure of chatting briefly with Tomson before the show, and was very touched by his gentleness, his kindness and his wonderfully refreshing enthusiasm. He grabbed my hand, spoke of travels to Zimbabwe, and smiled a charmed smile before dashing off to ready himself for the show. A beautiful soul, with a beautiful gift that he just keeps on sharing. I love people like that.
Theatre lovers living on a dime take heed – Factory Theatre has launched their Toonie Tuesday preview extravaganza. Now there’s seriously no excuse to not go and enjoy these amazing Canadian productions.
Last night Mom and I saw David Yee’s “Acquiesce”, a play about a young man who must go and bury the father he barely knew in Hong Kong, and all the emotional turmoil that the experience brings up. I really enjoyed the performances, and for Mom and I it was good catharsis, as it deals with issues of abuse (Mom’s father, though a “good man”, was physically and verbally abusive to his family), the anger that comes from abandonment (I know my dad, but I don’t know my dad. I’ve seen him a handful of times in my life. My memories of him include a pizza and ice cream trip when I was a child and him being really angry at me for putting on nail polish before falling asleep and trying to kill everyone in the house with poisonous vapours) and the frictions that arise from straddling two vastly different cultures your entire life.
I have to give a giant thumbs up to the crew, who put together a fantastic modern, functional set, eerie musical interludes and terrific props and effects. Wonderfully done.
We had the pleasure of attending the opening night of Skylight at the Berkeley Theatre last night, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It’s always great to see people who have been somehow involved in the production sitting in the audience, fidgeting nervously, anxiously awaiting the audience’s reaction and getting the pleasure of witnessing the fruits of their labour in full bloom. As usual, the Berkeley reception was a glorious, classy affair, with staffers and volunteers ensuring that every detail was tended to.
I love being exposed to new plays (well, new to me!) and novel techniques when I see a show. In this case, it was the fact that the main character cooked an entire meal onstage in real-time that impressed me (I was looking to see if certain elements were precooked, and couldn’t tell, to be honest) and completely embroiled me in the story. The kitchen is definitely the heart of my home and many an emotion peeks out as vegetables are chopped, plus it’s such an intimate act that I’m not sure if the characters’ closeness and comfort with each other could easily have been portrayed otherwise. It was a lovely choice – whether dictated by playwright or chosen by production team – but I applaud it vehemently.
And so, it seems, did Amy Pataki.