So you think you know your Brecht? We did, too, but we learned more in Bébé, a recent Rhubarb! show that impressed us a lot. The collectively created cabaret-style look at Bertolt Brecht's life and work and the women behind the scenes -- writers, actors and lovers who don't get the proper credit for their contribution to works like The Threepenny Opera -- was 30 minutes of sharp writing and sharp acting.
If you didn't get to see Bébé -- created by Jen Herszman Capraru, Erika Hennebury, Keira Loughran, Camille Stubel, Ruth Madoc-Jones and Christine Brubaker -- you'll get another chance in Nightwood's FemCab, the 19th annual Five-Minute Feminist Cabaret that's part of the celebration of International Women's Day (Saturday, March 8). Bébé then goes into development as part of Nightwood's Groundswell Festival.
Comic Elvira Kurt hosts this year's FemCab, and she's joined by Brigitte Gall, Shoshana Sperling, Teresa Pavlinek, Nicole Stamp, Ali Eisner, Mirha-Soleil Ross, Julia Aplin, Shannon Cooney and activists Pretty Porky and Pissed Off. See listings for details.
Besides taking part in FemCab, Nicole Stamp is busy as a new host/producer for TVO kids' Crawlspace. That didn't stop her from sizzling last month in a student version of Ntozake Shange's for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.
Stamp and a few others raised the dramatic quotient of the groundbreaking show, which even after 25 years holds up as an uncompromising, poetic evocation of what it means to be black and female in North America.
Playing the Lady in Red, Stamp got laughs as a control freak who's been stood up. She brought the work to a shattering emotional climax as a woman battling her Vietnam vet boyfriend for her children.
Hart House Theatre was too big a venue for the show and several key scenes didn't fly, but Stamp, Cherissa Richards's Lady in Brown, Andrea Scott's Lady in Orange and Pasha Mckenley's Lady in Purple added depth to Shange's text.