Outside La Cite Francophone – home of The Way to Miami and Revelations – sits a box labeled “family secrets”. While at first I was a little skeptical about the sentimental value of moving – I guess that’s what you’ve lived as a student, moving regularly between cheap apartments – both of these shows (that’s right, it’s a double bill) aren’t so much about the act of moving, but about what happens when we “open the box” of the past.
Mary-Ellen Perley stole the show for me. In The Way To Miami, I was in tears during Leola’s exploration of past events – I won’t say which events, in case you’re wary of spoilers – I can’t remember the last time a play moved me to tears! What made it so powerful was the build-up to the climax. The interplay between Dale Wilson (Frank) and Perley was well-executed – the easy rhythm between the two made it believable that this couple was married and had experienced a lot together (not an easy feat, considering the run time of Miami is about 30 minutes). However, the true skills of the actors shone in the implications of their words. Although the banter between the two was typical of any couple, the audience was made aware of elephant in the room very early on in the play – not necessarily by any of the lines, but the way they were said. I think it was the release of that tension which made me so emotional, and ultimately, the play so powerful.
Having this show be a double bill was a really interesting idea. While The Way to Miami was probably more enjoyable for the older folk in the room, Revelations definitely appealed more to the younger crowd. Although the story didn’t particularly resonate with me, there were gasps and nervous giggles around the room during the “big reveal” of the play.
A double bill is something I’d like to see more of – at the Fringe or during Edmonton’s regular theatre season. Juxtaposing, or matching, two plays has an awesome potential to spark interesting thoughts, and provide great experiences. Not only that, it also limits the amount of time each play can run for, encouraging great displays of artistic skill.
See it if: you have someone from another life stage to go with and time for a coffee afterwards, your own life is changing, or if you’re short on time but still want to Fringe.
Tickets are $12.50 or $10 for students/seniors. The Way to Miami and Revelations runs for 65 minutes. Shows run every day through to August 26. The Way to Miami and Revelation’s schedule can be found on the Fringe Theatre Adventures website or YEGlive.ca.
– Jenna Marynowski