A Different Woman: a True Story of a Texas Childhood (Texpatriate Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

A Different Woman: a True Story of a Texas Childhood is based on the autobiography of Edna Gertrude Beasley, My First Thirty Years. The fact that it is a true story immediately gives it more credibility and allows for forgiveness of the mundaneness in the plot. It is a 90 minute one woman show in which she passionately shares her story. The play itself is not mundane because Veronica Russell’s acting is captivating and doesn’t lead the audience to stray.

Based on the summary of Gertrude Beasley’s life in the program I was expecting her to have done some outrageous things to result in her being ostracized. A Different Woman, however, is simply about her childhood and nothing more. It was in fact simply the level of honesty in this autobiography that allowed for My First Thirty Years to be banned.

Russell’s voice is beautiful and commanding. A one woman show allows her to vividly depict Texas life and growing up in the early 1900s. The struggles and traumas that one experiences yet never speaks of. It all comes through very effectively with Russell’s command of the stage.

The lighting worked well at keepng the pace of the simple monologue style play. She eats a peach part way through to keep the personal story-telling atmosphere. This also helps provide a change of setting, and the lighting takes advantage in creating variation and thus keeping interest.

I enjoyed entering the world that Russell created with just her words. However, it is a 90 minute one woman show that slowly explains Beasley’s childhood, so I wouldn’t say it’s for one with a short attention span.

Details:

A Different Woman: a True Story of a Texas Childhood
is playing at St. Vladimir Theatre (620 Spadina Rd.)

Show times:
Mon, July 11 10:30 PM
Tue, July 12 4:30 PM
Wed, July 13 12:15 PM
Fri, July 15 4:00 PM
Sat, July 16 10:30 PM

All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only).
Advance tickets are $11, available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street.

Advance tickets are $11 – $10 + $1 convenience fee.
– Money saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.