Will the bubble wrap pop? Will the mermaid tail fall to pieces? Will the cast get sick of pecan pie? We are more than halfway through our run of Catherine Banks’ Miss N Me and people can’t stop talking about this show. And what they’re saying has affirmed that it’s weird, wonderful and well worth it.
Despite the surrealist elements Miss N Me is about a journey of self-discovery; it has a message for everyone. Another treat for the Manitoban audience for this world premiere is the playwright’s signature style of Atlantic Gothic. “I really believe theatre works best when it is about a very particular place and then it becomes universal,” says Banks.
In an interview with CityTV, actor Melanie Whyte and director Hope McIntyre discussed the poignancy of Banks’ writing, beneath the absurd antics. “Catherine has written a very wise play. It’s poetic and if you dig deeply into the script, you discover a lot of truth that I will use in my life from here on out.” says Whyte, who plays protagonist Dawna.
“There’s this really beautiful use of language, poetry, imagery and metaphor. In this play there’s rap, there’s dance, there’s waltzing, there’s clowns. She [Banks] really brings so many elements into her pieces and in all of her plays, they touch something really deep in all of us.” says McIntyre.
You won’t find theatre like this anywhere else! The uniqueness of of this production is apparent in the musical stylings of local artist Tiffany Ponce, who infuses this message of being true to herself in all of her original songs. The underscoring music was created by Winnipeg youth from Just TV at Broadway Neighbourhood Centre. Listen here.
We spoke with some audience members after seeing the performance and the consensus seems to be that this play is a griping ride.
“Very engaging from start to finish. It kept my attention. The variety of different aspects of Dawna’s journey- comedic, her imagination, the ups and downs of the journey. You laugh, the next moment your heart is touched. It’s so inspirational. I was ushering, and I was so engaged in the play I almost forgot I was supposed to usher! I loved it.” -Cheryl, volunteer
“Menopausal madness! You never know what was going to happen next!” -Cheryl, audience
“Just wonderful. High energy, innovative, and extremely well done. Everybody should see it!” -Maureen, audience
“I was smiling from start to finish. I loved the hidden meanings and imagination.” – Judi, audience
And finally, our actors who have taken on the formidable task of bringing these characters to life have received some glowing reviews:
It also bravely embraces that weirdness, thanks particularly to fantastic comic performances from Alissa Watson and Colin Connor, taking on a huge range of roles as the curious characters Dawna encounters on her route… it pays off with a story that’s funny, moving, and miles from ordinary. – Joff Schmidt, CBC review
Winnipeg stage veteran Melanie Whyte literally drives the show as Dawna and does an admirable job of presenting an array of emotional states experienced by a woman in crisis. She takes advantage of her everywoman quality to create a sympathetic character worthy of audience attention. Whyte is ably backed by a trio of young actors, headed by Alissa Watson, who exhibits great versatility by portraying a sexy mermaid and a red-nosed clown, as well as a fortune-telling terrorist and overzealous anniversary planner. Colin Connor has a similar challenge inhabiting the likes of a randy fat man, Shakespearean lover and Elvis-impersonating Adonis. – Kevin Prokosh, Winnipeg Free Press
Just 4 more shows so don’t miss out, get your tickets here.