SummerWorks review: Gender Reveal Party


GENDER REVEAL PARTY by S. Bear Bergman (Flamingo Rampant/SummerWorks). At the Theatre Centre Green Roof. Aug 11 at 6:30 pm, Aug 14 at 6 pm, Aug 18 at noon and 5 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

Subverting and satirizing the idea of actual gender reveal parties, S. Bear Bergman celebrates trans, nonbinary and gender-noncompliant people in this refreshing and inclusive show.

Acting as host and toastmaster (glasses of sparkling lemonade are provided), the affable Bergman introduces three individuals who talk about themselves and their gendered revelation.

At the performance I saw (the cast is rotating), these included transfeminine musical theatre writer Avery Jean Brennan, who performed three clever, Sondheimesque songs (to a very tinny audio piano accompaniment) Jaidyn Jasim, a nonbinary transguy whose nuanced, sensuous spoken word performance said a lot about the power of metaphor and Chy Ryan Spain, a Black, gender non-binary artist whose three costume changes playfully highlighted three aspects of their complex identity.

As a part of the SummerWorks Lab series, the work is still in development, which could explain its loose structure. But the space the airy rooftop Theatre Centre garden presentation (terrifically gaudy sun hats are available to borrow) and the openness and sheer talent of all involved make this a pleasant way to pass 45 minutes.

As a bonus, the show’s program includes a handy list of things to say when someone shares a revelation about their gender with you.



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