A BRIMFUL OF ASHA by Asha and Ravi Jain (Why Not Theatre/Tarragon, 30 Bridgman). Runs to February 19. $15-$22. 416-531-1827..
A BRIMFUL OF ASHA by Asha and Ravi Jain (Why Not Theatre/Tarragon, 30 Bridgman). Runs to February 19. $15-$22. 416-531-1827. See listing. Rating: NNN
Instead of sending his folks a terse invite to a show about their traumatic parenting, actor, writer and director Ravi Jain has collaborated on one with his mother, Asha, allowing her to respond to his side of the story with her own take.
According to Ravi, it goes something like this: in 2007, his parents decide it’s time for him to get married. He agrees to meet any girls they might select – an easy enough thing to evade since he’s preparing to leave Toronto to travel in India.
But to his surprise, they’ve set him up with nice Indian girls, created a biodata (a hilariously sober dating profile) without his knowledge and advertised his marriageability in an Indian newspaper.
Ravi may be the one with the gift of gab, but brevity is the soul of non-actor Asha’s wit. She often manages to corner the audience’s attention with an acid remark, delighting us while also quelling her charismatic son’s efforts to be free of her epic matchmaking schemes.
Unfortunately, by the final third, the conflict feels a bit repetitive. Asha’s meddling ceases to be funny, and Ravi’s frustration plateaus without any real resolution. When the pair finally face one another, re-enacting a hurtful fight, the dramatic turn feels forced in contrast to the natural ease of the preceding scenes.
Still, A Brimful Of Asha is full to the brim with loving, personal admissions. It’s both a diatribe against and a tribute to mothers (and their complaining sons).