reviewed by Paula Citron
L’Ange Avec Les Fleurs
Next Stage Theatre Festival 2009
Beth Marshall Presents
Written and directed by Rocky Hopson
Starring Christopher Lee Gibson, Cami Alys Yankwitt, Christopher McIntyre, Mike Lane and Rob Houle and Le Band Bric-a-Brac
At Factory Theatre Main Space until Jan. 18
The Fringe of Toronto’s winter offering is the curated Next Stage Theatre Festival that features eight hand-picked plays with proven track records.
L’Ange Avec Les Fleurs is a raucous musical with a cast from Florida and Texas. The premise is that a clown troupe — Théâtre des Funambules — is putting on a production in 1940 occupied France under the close supervision of a Nazi official. As conceived and directed by Rocky Hopson, the show swings between satire and a story about Baptise the clown trying to find happiness. It is a high-energy production with colourful costumes and wonderful retro songs by Rob Houle performed by his Le Band Bric-a-Brac.
Unfortunately, the phoney French accents garble words, while poor diction garbles the lyrics. On the positive side, Christopher Lee Gibson gives an affecting portrait of Baptise. He plays it for real which anchors the show.
L’Ange Avec Les Fleurs continues at Factory Theatre Main Space until Jan. 18.