Monday, March 22, 2010

L'Illustre Théâtre

When it comes to attending French theatre productions, I have to admit I'm always a bit nervous.

Thanks to the Canadian Federal Government, my French comprehension isn’t that bad but then again, my speaking isn’t that good. I always imagine myself being singled out for “audience participation” and the resulting nightmare of standing on stage stammering “Je parle comme une vache espagnole” (I speak like a Spanish cow). Scary!

Seeing the Théâtre de l'Île for the first time did nothing to allay my fears. It’s a beautiful venue, small, intimate; the perfect setting for  improvisation. Much to my delight, however, it turns out my qualms were the perfect seasoning for Marie-Louise Nadeau’s comedy L'Illustre Théâtre, the story of three hapless souls who find themselves forced to stage a “work in progress” to a sold-out audience without the benefit of cast, costumes, props, or, in one case, professional training.

I literally laughed until I cried as the leading lady tap danced her way through one “scene” wearing rubber boots and a mixed expression of confusion & dread overlaid with the perfect “show must go on” smile.  Boy, could I relate to that.

L'Illustre Théâtre runs until April 11, 2010 so there's still time to see it.  I promise that you won't find yourself on stage but you will thoroughly enjoy the tribulations of the people that do.

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