Written by Dawna Wightman, A Mickey Full of Mouse is playing at the Tarragon Extraspace as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival 2017. This raw road trip story takes us to the childhood memories of two women, Anna and Margaret. The main recollection is the 1976 journey to Florida that includes Anna (Louise Lupo), Margaret (Dawna Wightman) and Anna’s mother (also Wightman) and father.
Even before showtime as we were getting settled in our seats, Margaret was sweeping the stage and muttering to herself. I liked seeing Wightman already in character before the curtain went up because it was like reading the back cover of a book before diving in: she was warming us up for the story.
Via a “blast from the past” snow globe, Anna and Margaret take a trip down memory lane to the long drive to Disneyworld. We learn that Anna’s father is a cheating husband, a dangerous driver and an uncaring father. Anna’s mother, who is constantly smoking and upset with her husband, is not leading the most fulfilling life.
Details such as the shared bath water and towel for 10 people, Anna’s need to avoid Uncle Pervert, along with plenty of other anecdotes paint a less than happy picture of Anna’s formative years. But don’t think that A Mickey Full of Mouse is chock full of sadness: there are snippets of happiness. When Anna’s father gives Margaret the Mickey Mouse hat, Margaret shares it with Anna so they can have one ear each. And despite being mostly kept in the Lost Children Pavilion at Disneyworld, the girls do go on one ride “It’s a Small World.”
The acting is fantastic, and Wightman gives a standout performance as three characters: slow-talking Margaret, Anna’s unhappy mother, and a Disneyworld security guard. Her dexterity and instantaneous role changes were highly impressive.
A Mickey Full of Mouse is a poignant story that addresses the wounds of childhood, while offering us moments of tenderness and hope.
- A Mickey Full of Mouse plays at the Tarragon Extraspace. (30 Bridgman Ave.)
- Tickets are $12. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Scadding Court, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- This venue is barrier-free. Patrons who use wheelchairs or who cannot climb stairs are seated in the front row.
- Friday July 7th, 01:00 pm
- Sunday July 9th, 03:15 pm
- Monday July 10th, 10:00 pm
- Wednesday July 12th, 06:00 pm
- Thursday July 13th, 09:30 pm
- Friday July 14th, 07:30 pm
- Saturday July 15th, 12:00 pm