Myth of the Ostrich, produced as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival, is a hilarious show about motherhood, female friendship, and weed cookies. The three women in it are stellar performers with fantastic chemistry, and the script tackles important issues with a light touch that still has firm values.
Holly (Astrid Van Wieren) is a novelist having troubles writing her sophomore book. She is interrupted by a visit from Pam (Alanis Peart), who she has never met before. She does know Pam’s son, who has been dating Holly’s own child, a fact that Pam only discovered by snooping. She produces a letter that she found hidden under her son’s bed but Holly refuses to read it. Holly has this notion that teenagers deserve a modicum of privacy, and this is just the beginning of the differences between their parenting styles. Pam, as it turns out, is a devout Catholic who fulfills a very traditional wifely role in her marriage to her demanding lawyer husband, and has the attendant conservative opinions.
Things get even more interesting when Cheryl (Renée Hackett) shows up, bursting in with a salacious story delivered with profanity-laden language and a Newfoundland accent. She is Holly’s best friend and weed supplier — but Pam doesn’t know about that last part yet. In fact, there is another very large fact she doesn’t know, pertaining to the teenager’s relationship, and Cheryl and Holly do their best to keep it from her.
The action involves some delightful stage play, including when the three women build a blanket fort replete with Christmas lights. If that sounds like an odd activity for adults, it is, and it also makes sense in the context of the play. The comedy is rollicking and the characters are so real that I am going to hold onto Holly as a role model of parenting for when my own kid reaches double digits, and I want to party with Cheryl, and Pam, well… I really hope Pam comes around.
- All Next Stage Theatre Festival performances are being held at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St.)
- Tickets for Mainstage and Studio shows are $15 and $10 for Ante-chamber performance
- Showtimes and ticket information are available atfringetoronto.com/next-stage-festival/
Photo of Astrid Van Wieren, Alanis Peart and Renee Hackett by Tanja Tiziana