MY OWN PRIVATE ETOBICOKE
Director Thrasso Petras
Technical Director Patrick O'Doherty
Dates and Venue Sunday, 22 October 2006 & Monday 23 October @8 pm| The Havana Theatre ( 1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver)
Reviewer Ed Farolan
Eufemia is a compelling performer. She keeps you attentive to every word she says as she narrates the tragic events of her family: her abusive mother who was eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and a loving father who attempts to commit suicide twice.
But all is not tragic in her solo performance. She talks about the hippy days that just whizzed by Etobicoke, mixing Italian which she immediately translates to English, of dialogues between her and her parents.
This is a film project which Director Petras is developing, and her performance was being filmed live for a DVD project. Petras in his notes says:"I am fascinated that Eufemia manages to tell her story as theatre, not thereapy".
The play starts off with important historical dates (like the invention of the potato chip and the "praying" pretzel), as she relates them to her childhood experiences, creating her personal world history. Then she goes into her family history--how her father, after immigrating to Canada, returns to his hometown in Italy and through an arranged marriage, weds her mother, 11 years his junior. They return to Canada and Eufemia is born in 1969, and she relates how her mother almost died in childbirth.
She finally leaves home at 18 after living a life in a dysfunctional family, moving to Victoria which was the farthest place in Canada she could go to. At the end of her 75-minute monologue, she shares her secret: "I am 37 and half and I now live East of Commercial Drive."
The script is witty, humourous, tragic, well-scipted and professionally performed. The audience was even invited to have some tasty vegan chocolate cake after the show.
© 2006 Ed Farolan