Reviewed by Paula Citron
Toute Comme Elle
Luminato Festival/Necessary Angel
Written by Louise Dupré (translated by Erin Moure)
Directed by Brigitte Haentjens
Performed by a cast of 50 women
Bluma Appel Theatre
Jun. 13 to 18, 2011
Toute Comme Elle, which translates into Just Like Her is the English language version of an original French theatre production conceived by Montreal director Brigitte Haentjens.
Fifty women are on the stage, and in a mix of individual and choral speaking, choreographed movement and song, they talk about their relationships with their mothers. Sometimes, they become the mothers talking about their daughters.
In as much as some of the greatest English-language actresses are on the stage, the text is beautifully rendered. There is both laughter and poignancy, mostly the latter. The words, by Montreal poet Louise Dupré, evoke the barriers that exist between generations.
Haentjens’ movement is simple and direct, patterning her fifty women to the best effect, and the songs suit the ritual feeling.
It’s quite a lovely show, although the text could have reached deeper levels. Dupré has written a glancing blow, rather than a direct hit on mother/daughter relationships.
Toute Comme Elle continues at the Bluma Appel Theatre until Jun. 18.