By: Adelina Fabiano
Lively, light-hearted Musical livens up a little Toronto stage
Larger than life: The Musical, presented by Ghost Light Projects, at Factory Theatre proved to be as great as its title. Featuring songs like, “These Ain’t Mama’s Tits”, and “Fat Cow in a China Shop”, this show leaves you feeling ready to grab life by the horns.
Written by SG Lee and composed by Vanessa LeBourdais, this play is insightful and passionate. It speaks to us about love, child rearing, relationships, and careers. Universally appealing, there is a little bit of each of us in this play.
At first glance, the stage seemed rather bare with five small tables spread across the stage and a corner table for the coffee. However, as each actor enters the stage singing “Where’s the Coffee”, they begin to unpack all their “baggage” of random second hand items they hope to sell.
The play takes place at a white elephant sale, a fundraiser for a girl’s camp. Through various songs, we learn a little more about each woman’s frustrations, loneliness, past lives and insecurities. Some cry about their imperfections and inability to find love, some share their unfulfilled dreams, while others complain about their ordinary habitual life or failed romances.
We are presented with a diverse group of woman in this play. We have the unappreciated mother and housewife, the workaholic, a wholesome young girl looking for the perfect mate, a lesbian looking for companionship and finally a young woman, feigning her happiness, and too paralyzed by fear and self-doubt to follow her dreams.
Each song is so cleverly written by SG Lee, one finds themselves anticipating the next musical number. There were so many memorable tunes, one more quirky and funnier than the other. This 90 minute show was fast paced, entertaining and engaging from the start.
The actors play their roles naturally with a good sense of comedic timing. Different and diverse, each character shines brightly in their moments of lament or revelation. Their voices are strong, unique and passionate. It was a true broadway musical, equally enjoyable but for half the price.
Accompanying the fine skilled actors was their one woman orchestra who flawlessly carried her actors throughout the show. This show was perfectly cast and perfectly directed.
By the end of the show, we feel a part of us has grown with each character. They bond and support one another through song and music just as the audience bonds with them. Each character gives the other the encouragement they need to pursue their hidden desires.
The choreography, although minimal, was appropriate and upbeat. At one point, I lost myself in their world and wanted to join in their dance of joy, “bop shoo bopping” my way to my own unfulfilled dreams. My guest and I definitely left the theatre feeling ‘larger than life’.
-Larger Than life: The Musical is playing at Factory Theatre from May 20-June12, 2010.
-Performances run on Tuesdays-Saturday in the Factory Theatre studio. Performance times vary. For more information on times and dates please go to the Ghost Light Projects website or call the Factory theatre box office at (416) 504-9971, or visit the box office in person at 125 Bathurst Street ( at Adelaide) Tuesday-Saturday, 1-7p.m., and Sunday, 1-2p.m.