Thursday, May 22, 2008

Breakfast

Breakfast is a show I would have never seen if circumstances didn't conspire to get me there.

I won tickets at the TAPA trade forum a couple of weeks ago, and I rarely win anything. Then my initial date was booked and I was moved to last night. And then I felt really exhausted and was considering giving my ticket away but a friend dangled the possibility of a Jays ticket behind the plate, which was enough to get my butt on a bus until the ticket vanished. But I was on my way to the Theatre Centre.

I'm so glad I saw it. Its central premise of transformation through freeing your mind is right where I am at the moment. Usually when this topic comes up in the theatre, it's used as a joke and made fun of. What was amazing about this production was that I felt it was on the same wavelength as me. Yes, it uses humour a lot, but it was used judiciously and never took away from the central premise.

Louise Hay is thanked in the program for inspiration, and you can see signs of that influence throughout the piece. Her basic message is "The body, like everything else in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs. Every cell within your body responds to every single thought you think and every word you speak."

Our heroine Marnie, played by Karin Randoja, wakes up for yet another day. She puts in her daily affirmation tape, not knowing that this is the day for her transformation. As the tape begins to speak directly to her, she goes through the transformational stages: manifestation, facing childhood trauma, releasing anger, giving voice to one's deepest desires, finally turning the mind and physical reality into one, and finally, becoming your most powerful self while the universe cheers you on.

I loved how this was put on the stage, using Anna Chatterton as the female voice and a heavily voice-modulated Evalyn Parry as the male side. This duality allows the power of sexual energy to be used as the driving force in Marnie's transformation. An ingenious use of fish bowl takes us out of the physical reality into the world of the mind.

There really isn't anything else like this out there on a Toronto stage. The show runs until June 1st and really is a must-see.

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