SummerWorks review: Stray

Tanya Marquardt's musical punk memoir could use some fine-tuning


STRAY by Tanya Marquardt and Tim Carlson (Theatre Conspiracy). At the Theatre Centre – BMO Incubator. Aug 12 at 6 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN


Performer and author Tanya Marquardt’s musical punk memoir about running away from home is basically a live rock show with emphasis on narrative.

Backed by guitarists Jon Wood and Tim Carlson, and drummer Ed Goodine, Marquardt belts out tunes that range from experimental post-punk to searing punk rock to quiet-and-melodic post-rock.

Each song chronicles her rough-and-tumble journey out of a bad family situation and toward finding herself (and her authorial voice) through nights spent drinking with friends in the bush, to hooking up with strangers in NYC, and working in a BDSM dungeon.

Despite the raw power of the performance, the tinny acoustics of the Incubator space make understanding Marquardt’s vocals – and the narrative – difficult at times.

The show would also benefit from stronger direction. Director Mallory Catlett should get Marquardt out from behind the mic stand more often to physically depict aspects of the story she’s telling.

Still, there’s no denying this show’s legit punk spirit.  

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