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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: All I Want Is U2

Cédilot (Photo: Louis Longpré)

An artist traces his life...and the iconic band's
by Christopher Lane

Mainline Theatre is currently staging a new show called All I Want is U2, in conjunction with Théâtre Sans Fond. This one-man show is performed by its writer, Laval native Stéfan Cédilot, and directed by Stéphanie Pelletier. All I Want is U2 tells the story of the band as seen through the eyes of the playwright, a longtime fan. Through a mix of storytelling, lecturing, acting, music and video, Cédilot takes the audience through his experiences discovering and following the band’s evolution up to the present day. He shows how his experiences with U2 were continually changing as the band changed.

He made the stories personal by describing his own reactions to every stylistic shift.

While the production was somewhat slow to get moving and had a few scenes that fell a bit flat, Cédilot did draw me in soon enough. His stories about U2’s progression from a fledgling band of inexperienced high schoolers to the U2 we know today were interesting, and he made them personal by describing his own reactions to every stylistic shift. He also shared many anecdotes about what he has learned along the way about being a music fan, including stories that are easy to relate to, regardless of what band you might call your favourite.

All I Want is U2 is engaging and keeps the audience interested by continually doing different types of performance, so the hour and a half goes by quickly. The show is not perfect, as Cédilot’s delivery is not especially smooth, but he does at least bring a lot of energy to the stage. The use of music played by a live DJ, consisting of songs from U2 as well as other rock bands which set the mood for each era, added to the experience, as did the use of video clips to back up what he was saying. 

I will grant that your liking of U2 will probably influence your enjoyment of this show, but you certainly do not need to be a fan, as any music lover can relate to the production. If you are into music and are curious to see a different kind of theatre production in an intimate, personal setting, I would recommend All I Want is U2. 

All I Want is U2 is playing at Mainline Theatre at 3997 St-Laurent, from September 28th to October 1st at 8pm, and 2pm on the 1st. Tickets at $23.

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