Friday, December 6, 2013

Review: (Montreal) Urban Tales

Danielle Desormeaux (Photo by Victoria Laberge)
Brava, Brava, Brava!
by Aleksandra Koplik

If anyone has watched New York, I love you or Paris, je t'aime, this play has a similar concept. Several writers tell the stories of (in this edition) different women during the holiday season in Montreal. With an acting cast of seven very talented women, including: Patricia Summersett, Johanna Nutter, Julie Tamiko Manning, Tamara Brown, Alarey Alsip, Leni Parker and Danielle Desormeaux, these gals really delivered! Everyone laughed, at times, uncontrollably even. 

The show opens with a cabaret style stage, Christmas decorations fill the room and director Harry Standjofski opens with a solo act on the acoustic guitar. He accompanies the actors with live musical transitions, which was very pleasant because it really gives a complete sense of entertainment with a great ambiance. The decorations are overly tacky on purpose (I hope), because it really puts into perspective what the holiday season is like for different people. Let's face it, no holiday movie ever made depicts a Christmas or New Year's reality for the new and inexperienced mom, the immigrant that holds on to the past, the director of a major theatre company, an artist, a woman with low self-esteem, an enthusiastic mall manager or a depressed young waitress. All of their stories are different. Some are funny, some are sad (really sad), but they are exactly what the title says : Urban tales. No definite happy endings and it's up to the audience to relate or take something away from it.

The great thing about this play is that all the stories revolve around Montreal, but the way they're told really gives us an in-depth look at the life of the 'non-stereotypical' Montrealer. Whether you're a man or a woman, this play is bound to inspire some holiday cheer. 

Urban Tales runs Dec. 5 - 14
See also: Our review of this year's edition of Contes urbains

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