By: Maurice Kirschbaum
The lights dim, the audience starts to quiet down, curtains are pulled open and all eyes are fixated on the stage. Our protagonist Louis, played by Keegan Beamer, appears and starts to fight with his sister, played by Halie de Marino, off-stage. And then it all goes downhill. A minute into the play and the guy sitting next to me stands up and walks off. Matthieu Hansen was not a stressed out BAIS student, running off to fight with his cultural studies workgroup about their imminent presentation and thus rudely walking out of the play, he was to be our narrator, hidden amongst the audience. With the narrator breaking the 4th wall so early in the play, we knew we were in for something special!
Clearly this was also to be a comedy, the second scene already has us cracking up at Louis and his love interest, played by Eva Bosman, try to recreate the sound that a “biblical ass” would make. Later in the play we are then introduced to Louis’s two lovely grandmothers. The first a second-amendment loving thief of Christmas presents, played by Tom Hughes. The second has forgotten parts of her identity due to Alzheimer’s and now believes to be a Polish immigrant, which is made truly believable thanks to Eugenio Marcigliano’s accent (is it an accent though, or just his actual voice?). If you were wondering, yes two men played these lovely old ladies. How did they achieve this? Well by dressing up in drag, using make-up. The illusion was nearly complete, until the grandmothers sat down, their skirts pushed upwards, revealing surprisingly hairy legs.
The first act, whilst being both hilarious and well-acted, was absolutely trumped by the second. Youri Moes and Leonoor Kemperman, whilst providing many memorable and hysterical lines during the play, came of their own as they treated the stunned audience to a fight like no other. Starting-off as a shouting match, they ingeniously lowered the intensity of their voices as the scene unfolded, ending in a truly heartbreaking acceptance of their upcoming divorce.
Whilst two sold-out shows, and a standing ovation should tell you enough about the quality of the play and it’s cast, I believe there is more to it. This play took you along for a ride, your eyes were glued to the stage as you become a part of an unflooding story, sometimes (often) laughing uncontrollably and then again tearing at your heartstrings as you saw a family spending their last Christmas together. Credit for this should be given to the director, Alyssa Miller, who led the cast in this breath-taking performance and the one-women crew of Lara Govea rushing, barefoot, around the stage to place props.
Thank you all for an incredible night!
Keep an eye out for the photographers’ photos.