I AM NOT A DINNER MINT by Rachael-Lea Rickards and Trey Anthony (Trey Anthony Productions/Redfoot). At the Harbourfront Centre Theatre (235 Queens Quay West). To July 30. See Continuing, page 95. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Trey Anthony's follow-up (co- written with actor Rachael-Lea Rickards ) to her phenomenally successful 'Da Kink In My Hair is further proof that she's the Oprah of the local theatre scene.
Anthony knows what many women want to see. I Am Not A Dinner Mint delivers on its tagline promise of exploring "the crap women swallow to stay in a relationship," and even if there's a lack of sophistication in the execution, the emotional truths resonate.
Unlike Kink, the new play isn't exclusively devoted to telling black women's stories. But the structure, of contrasting monologues punctuated by the occasional ensemble scene, remains. There are stories about women who ignore Mr. Nice Guy for Mr. Emotionally Unavailable. There's a bit about a stressed-out mother who eventually snaps. A monologue about a well-to-do woman who's being abused.
The script is especially good at showing how women can delude themselves in life and love. Men aren't always to blame; women are the ones putting up with things. A few scenes show that lesbians aren't immune to relationship dysfunction either, although a sequence about women "trying out" being lesbian doesn't quite succeed.
The show feels like a workshop production full of promising sequences, a couple of good performances ( Jemeni and Aktina Stathaki stand out) and a hopeful, if predictable, message about loving yourself.
What Dinner Mint needs is a stronger through-line to tie these stories together.