The Arts

Saint Carmen of the Main

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Saint Carmen of the Main
Canadian Stage
Written by Michel Tremblay
Directed by Peter Hinton
Featuring Laara Sadiq, Diane D’Aquila, Jean Leclerc, Karen Robinson, Robert Persichini, Jackie Richardson and Joey Tremblay
Bluma Appel Theatre
Feb. 7 to Mar. 5, 2011

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Michel Tremblay’s Saint Carmen of the Main is one of three plays about the warring sisters Carmen and Manon. In telling stories set in seedy east end Montreal, and the red light, drug infused Blvd. Saint-Laurent, Tremblay has created a metaphor for Quebec cultural identity. Although written in 1976, Saint Carmen of the Main is still a very political play.

Structured as a Greek tragedy, with a 14-member chorus led by Karen Robinson and Robert Persichini, the play tells about a transformed Carmen. When she left for Nashville, she was a routine country and western singer. When she comes back, she is singing songs about the lives of the marginalized.

Director Peter Hinton and designer Eo Sharp have created a magnificent red-drenched production. In a line-up of strong performances, Diane D’Aquila as Harelip, Jean Leclerc as Maurice and Joey Tremblay as Toothpick are stand-outs. Laara Sadiq as Carmen needs more punch.

Saint Carmen of the Main continues at the Bluma Appel Theatre until Mar. 5.

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