The Incredible Adventures of That Nice Canajun Girl (EclecticEncounters) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Black and white image. Performer dTaborah Johnson stares into camera.

The Incredible Adventures of That Nice Canajun Girl by EclecticEncounters is currently playing On Demand as part of the 2021 Toronto Digital Fringe. You can catch this musical, poetic storytelling show online until July 31. 

The Incredible Adventures of That Nice Canajun Girl proved to be my favourite fare from the Toronto Digital Fringe Festival. It does a wonderful job giving you the feeling of being at a live Fringe production. The star, dTaborah Johnson, is a captivating performer. Her rhythmic prose and enchanting singing had me locked in throughout the 38 minute runtime.

In The Incredible Adventures , dTaborah Johnson takes the viewer through her life from birth to the present. We get to witness her growth over a lifetime as a “light-skinned coloured girl” who has travelled “68 times around the sun” and collected some incredible tales. The writing is poetic and expressive. The piece flows very smoothly. There is a deep sense of character so that by the end of the show, I truly felt that I’d caught a glimpse of dTaborah Johnson’s life and who she is.

The production on the video is very good. Extremely well shot by director of photography Jonathan Bensimon, the crisp black and white image has a little bit of a shaky-cam thing going on, which really helped me to feel like I was with Johnson in the theatre. The music is fantastic, featuring saxophonist Neil Braithwaite. Editor Monica Remba’s cuts keep everything moving along at a rhythmic, hypnotic pace.

dTaborah Johnson is an incredibly expressive writer, performer, and singer. She shares stories and songs to explain and express her experience as a woman of colour born in Switzerland, who travelled to the States and then Canada at a young age. She discusses what it was like growing up in Canada as a woman of colour, describing it as “a tricky place sure enough… And the last thing I remember about that place of whiteness and cows was being hit by a funeral car.” The show is laden with these kinds of poignant witticisms, and with Johnson’s wisdom and perspective.

Of all the Digital Fringe shows I watched this year, this one did the best job recreating the feeling of a live show. I was grateful for the unique experience seeing an incredibly talented performer in dTaborah Johnson, reliving the excitements and relaying the insights of a life lived beautifully.

Details

  • The Incredible Adventures of That Nice Canajun Girl is playing on-demand at the Virtual 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival.
  • Purchase a $5 Membership to access the On-Demand programming on the Fringe website, then Pay What You Can to each show as you go, with the suggested price of $13 per show.
  • Memberships can be purchased here. View the virtual on-demand show listings here.
  • Accessibility notes:
    • On-Demand shows: videos are closed captioned, transcripts are available for all audio content, documents are screen-reader friendly, and all digital images are provided with alternative text descriptions. These access supplements have been generated by the company and reviewed by the Festival. They may vary slightly from company to company.
    • Fringe Primetime presentations will feature Auto-Transcribed Captioning.
  • Content warning: Not recommended for viewers under 18, features sexual content and mature language. 
  • Read all of Mooney on Theatre’s 2021 Virtual Toronto Fringe Festival coverage here.

Photo Credit: dTaborah Johnson, by Jonathan Bensimon

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