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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: The Birth of Weza or Go F@#k Your Mother (Fringe 2011)

Reviewed by Janis Kirshner

Day one and I’ve already found a keeper; book tix asap to this one. Joanne Sarazen, whose goofy play titles belie the depth of her work, has an ear for dialogue and a dry, delicious sense of humour. This is seamlessly combined with Tamara Brown’s swift directing (in a difficult space) and a strong cast. In part it is wacky and out there, but is also so grounded. Owen Clark (Tom), Catherine Lemieux (Susan), Michael Payette (Will) and Lindsay Wilson (Eleanor) make it look effortless. And the writing, including a storyline about a writer, is eminently quotable: “Intelligent people aren’t having babies anymore.” “It’s not that I undervalue motherhood, it’s just that I’d rather kill myself than have a baby.” “People can be so socially retarded when they’re too educated.” This is a funny, smart, tight script about beauty, disappointment, second chances and the idea of legacy.

Two couples meet, believe in each other and ultimately beat the odds. Intelligent hospital janitor Tom falls for Life Coach Susan- will she move on this time as she’s done in the past? Blocked writer Eleanor meets newly published poet Will. Does she ever finish her baby - her book?

I’m a huge fan of Lemieux’s honest, inspiring acting and could watch her all night; she gets better and better over the years. I enjoyed being let in on every intimate two-hander scene that made up the whole of this play. There are so many good ideas, lovely moments. There are recurring strippers, household-decorating tips, a superhero cancer fighter, the sweetness of being socially awkward and feeling moved by fear of failure.

And it all wrapped up in the end. Give yourself a Fringe present and go see it.

Show details.


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