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Whiskey Bars
Presented by Big Empty Barn Productions

Reviewed: 2011-08-02 04:38:05
Rated: 10 out of 10 [5 Stars]
By: Robin Chase (e-mail private -- log in to view)

Singer/Actor/Playwright Bremner Duthie is, quite simply, extraordinary in this solo show about a weary cabaret performer attempting a comeback and questioning himself profusely as he prepares to go onstage.

The entire play is set in the dilapidated dressing room of an old cabaret theatre with Duthie playing against an unseen female reporter interested in writing about him and reviewing his show. He obliterates the fourth wall by having the invisible reporter placed in the audience - a wonderful maneuver as it allows each audience member to feel that he is baring his soul for them personally.

Duthie is a master of introspection, leaving nothing on the table as the emotions of his character pour out of him and fill the venue. Duthie's character is obsessed with the works of German-Jewish Composer Kurt Weill and Duthie draws the audience closer to him by singing 10 Weill songs, sprinkled throughout the show. Duthie has carefully chosen songs with lyrics related in some way to each segment of dialogue, so you never have the impression that each one is a "song break", but rather an extension of his character's thought processes. This brilliant show is not to be missed.

(Reviewed from performance held 2011 07 13 at The Playhouse Studio during the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.)

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