Got off to a good start on my second day of Montreal Fringe 2014. Had a dandy breakfast at the Hotel, headed out to a coffeeshop to take advantage of the apparent 1 or 2 hour window in the early morning when wifi in this town actually works worth a damn and posted a few reviews, then treated myself to a chicken sandwich trio from the legendary Schwartz’ Deli for lunch. YUM. But no time to lose, as it was then off to the somewhat far-removed venue at 4001 Berri for my sixth show of the festival.
The show was from a performer I first saw in a show back at the Victoria Fringe, which was also where I first met Al and Shane (but more on them in the next post). Her show then was THE UKRAINIAN DENTIST’S DAUGHTER, and it was a bloody charming show indeed. So when I heard that Yana Kesala of Radiant Moxie was going to be in Montreal with her new piece 12 TONGUES you better believe I planned on being there. This new one has a pretty interesting origin…a collection of 12 different short pieces, each inspired by a different month, and each written by a different creator. It gave the whole show a continuously fresh vibe, and in the hands of such a strong and magnetic performer like Yana, pretty much a joy from minute to minute.
The stories ranged from somber (a wife anxiously awaiting her soldier husband’s return from duty) to light (an opening appeal to the vast and mysterious ‘THEY’ who keep on telling us how things are supposed to be), serious (a half-hearted apology of sorts to a lover left kilted) to absurd (how exactly DOES one sneak their all-consuming threshing machine into a hippy festival anyhow?). You’ll have you’re favourites, as did I, or more likely you’ll have more than one. I’d forgotten what a vibrant force Yana Kesala was on stage, but won’t forget it anytime soon. The transitions from scene to scene played beautifully, and Yana nailed every engaging moment of the wildly varying collection of texts she had to work with. A true Fringe force to watch out for, and one of the best smiles you’ll ever be privy to see…12 TONGUES is a wonderful bit of theatrical tapas to enjoy, and the twelve months you spend with Yana will seem like much less than the hour it is. It’s a really good year. Peace, love and soul,