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Jane Enkin Reviews Royal MTC's The (Post) Mistress-online until April 25

posted here April 11, 2021

The (Post) Mistress
Book, lyrics and music by Tomson Highway
Royal MTC online
April 8 - 25, 2021
reviewed by Jane Enkin
 
Playwright Tomson Highway has concocted a sweet and spicy entertainment. (Post) Mistress is a one woman musical, delivered with great delight by Krystle Pederson. Pederson has a supple voice and digs into each song with energy and passion.
 
The play takes place in the small, Francophone, Northern town of Lovely, Ontario. Pederson is the postmistress, queen of her post office domain, in 1986 -- before the internet, when people mailed hand-written letters. The postmistress places each incoming letter in the recipient's box, but not before she examines the letter and lets us in on something, often secret, about the correspondents.
 
The play is more of an anthology than a narrative, although amid her storytelling the postmistress' life story emerges. Mostly she shares with us the love stories of the letter writers in her warm, confiding tone.The juiciest life dramas lead her to sing. There are sexy comedy pieces, sentimental numbers, poignant songs of love and loss, and one song that is fierce and moving.
 
One of the delights of the show is the easy flow from English, to French to Cree and back again. A highlight is the opening number, which demonstrates how fabulously the sensuous syllables of Cree words fit to a Brazilian samba rhythm. It speaks well of growth in our society, manifesting in the arts, that Highway can present here a diverse community without political conflict.
 
Accompanying Pederson are music director Naomi Woo on piano and the outstanding jazz performer Neil Watson on tenor sax. Watson and Pederson engage in fanciful musical dialogues that lift the play to a new level.
 
Direction by Simon Miron, with a charming set by Andrew Moro and dramatic lighting design by Larry Isacoff, which add to the richness of the show.
 
“The (Post) Mistress is about love, love letters and love of life.” – Tomson Highway
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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