Bordeaux (Pathos Theatre Company) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

Bordeaux is a melodic clash of period drama, romantic comedy, queer play, political commentary and domestic tragedy combined and yet, in a way, it is none of the above.

The story takes place in 19th century France where a young man, Pascal (Michael Davidson) escapes a Paris that is caught in the middle of a revolution. He finds his way to the wine country of Bordeaux.

There he befriends two sisters – Genevieve (Julia Pileggi) the younger,wide eyed optimist searching for adventure and Odette (Alexis Eastman), the elder and hardened one who is aware of the consequences of dreaming big. Pascal is soon visited by a man from his past, Henri (Jamie Ebbs) who serves as a painful reminder of the life he left behind.

The show explores the will to be daring and how far one is willing to go in order to eliminate obstacles and find a better life. It also looks at elements of queer struggles and if denying your past is worth the search for a more ideal future.

Written and directed by Alex Kentris, Bordeaux is shown in a series of short scenes that slowly reveal the true nature and desires of the characters. The setting of revolutionary France is the catalyst for the debate between structure and conformity for the sake of peace and the need for uprising to force change and a better way of living.

The production is well written, smart and demands that the audience question their pre-conceived notion of what is the right thing to do in the given situation.

The performance here is superb, though at times the dialog seemed to be delivered too quickly. The acting is spot on and very effective, you feel with the characters and sympathize with their struggles. A stand out performance from Jamie Ebbs for his exuberant portrayal of a man “raised by prostitutes” and who lives to survive, that includes a beautiful operatic vocal piece.

Bordeaux has become one of my favorites this year at Fringe and is a show that is meant to be enjoyed by everyone.

Details

Bordeaux is playing at the Factory Studio Theatre

Performances:

July 7 at 10:30 pm, July 8 at 3:15 pm, July 11 at 8:45 pm, July 12 at 2:45 pm, July 13 at 5:45 pm, July 15 at 7:15 pm, and July 16 at 4:30 pm.
– Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only. Late comers will not be permitted.

Tickets:
– Tickets are also available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, or 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.