Andrew Prashad’s one-person show lands on the Toronto stage
You know how once in a while you leap to your feet at the end of a performance and it’s almost an involuntary reaction? That was me – and the rest of the audience – on Saturday evening after seeing Andrew Prashad in his one-person show One Step at a Time at the Randolph Theatre.
Andrew’s youngest child, Ezra, was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. In his show, he uses monologues, original songs, and tap to explore his journey with his wife so far: raising two daughters, caring for a son with special needs, and maintaining his career as an actor, singer, and dancer.
In less skillful hands this has potential to be a real downer. It’s not. It’s a joyful story of family, love, and commitment.
Prashad is a prodigious talent: he acts, sings, dances, and writes, and he does it all really well. He wrote both the show and the music. One of the songs, “Little Waltzes,” keeps running through my head. It’s so beautiful.
It was absolutely captivating watching Prashad tap to a slow song, which is something I’ve never seen before. I love watching tap dancing but I’ve never seen it as something that particularly advanced a story or experienced it as something emotional until Saturday.
I really liked the way the story was presented as a series of 10 steps. (I could be wrong about 10, I managed to lose my notebook and didn’t have any paper so couldn’t take notes). Each step was announced by Scott Hurst. It was a really effective way to break the story into logical parts without breaking the flow.
Kudos to Hurst, who directed the piece. The flow and timing were perfect and Prashad made really good use of the stage, sometimes sitting, sometimes standing, sometimes walking, and of course, sometimes dancing.
There were actually two acts. In the first act Hurst, Musical Director Jeanne Wyse, and special guest Elaine Overholt each sang. I wish I could remember the names of the songs they sang, but no notebook means I can’t. All the songs related to family in some way and I was weeping buy the end of the act. Prashad refers to Hurst, Overholt, and Wyse as three of his mentors. Based on the evening, they’ve done great job. They must be proud.
Usually at the end of a review for a show that I loved I’d be able to say that you should go and see it. This time I have to resort to ‘you should have been there’ because Saturday was a one-off, raising funds for Sick Kids and ErinOak Kids. I don’t know if Prashad is planning to remount the show. I hope so. If he does you should go and see it. It’s wonderful.
- One Step at a Time played on February 18, 2017 at the Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst St)
Photo of Andrew Prashad by E. S. Cheah