Hosanna by Michel Tremblay

Dates and Venue 1 – 16 March 2008 @ 8pm | Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island

Director Jack Paterson Sets Niki Boyd Lighting Josh Hallam Sound Kevin McLardy Costumes Nykia Graham Stage Manager Jethelo Cabilete

Reviewer Jane Penistan

Originally performed in Montreal in 1973 and later in translation by John van Burek and Bill Glassco in Toronto 1977, this early Tremblay play wears well. The current production at the Waterfront plays in repertory with Poor Super Man as part of the Queerly Canadian Theatre Series.

A drag queen, Hosanna, a successful hairdresser by day, lives with Cuirette, an ageing biker, in a drab apartment on the seamy side of Montréal. Humiliated by the conspiracy of the other members of the local club, at a party, his/her misery is exacerbated by harassing telephone calls and by Cuirette’s amusement.

The pair have a row and Cuirette leaves Hosanna to struggle with her elaborate home made dress and her utter devastation. On his return, Cuirette persuades Hosanna to confront her dreams of grandeur and to face reality. She must live in the real world and not in her dreams of being a celebrity à la Elizabeth Taylor, her dream role-model.

Both Craig Marsh (Cuirette) and Marco Sariano (Hosanna) give stunning performances, exploring the script's underlying implications. The familiar insulting conversations are well contrasted with those of real heartfelt rage and despair.

The body language is well controlled and facial expression is used to great effect, without exaggeration. Each character complements the other.

Jack Paterson has directed this play with insight and sympathy with the result that this revival is as relevant today as it was thirty odd years ago and still holds our attention.

© 2008 Jane Penistan