Review by Ryan Hill
60 minutes (run time 50 minutes) / Drama
Heading into This Is Today, the stage manager made a comment from the stage indicating that this play was different from the one in the program. It was. Ignore the preview video. Ignore the program description. It may have been a mix-up or perhaps a strategy to manage expectations. I’m not sure.
The REAL play is pretty great. The first scene is a bit over the top, but things settle in from there. This Is Today is a series of tender and intimate vignettes that depict moments in the lives of women. From discussions of sexual dysfunction over yoga, to the aftermath of a night of binge drinking, the play deals with some tough themes in a loose and unassuming way.
The staging, costumes and props are simple, leaving it up to four (I’m not sure why the program describes a collective of eight?) actors to take us into these moments in a rapid-fire fashion. They flip from scene to scene, and each (well… most) is either funny, or moving, or both.
I enjoyed having access to these moments. I left with some insight into struggles with body image, family, and expectations that women face: The awful things that women do and say to each other and the things they sometimes do and say to themselves are on full display.
There’s a credibility that is built by the honest and candid tone in the play and it’s mixed with enough humour and whimsy to make it fully entertaining.
Toni Braxton even has a cameo. And she’s awesome! Take your mom!
This Is Today is playing at Venue 3 – Academic Hall (133 Seraphin-Marion) on Sunday June 17 at 10:30pm, Wednesday June 20 at 5:00pm, Friday June 22 at 5:00pm, Saturday June 23 at 8:00pm, Sunday June 24 at 3:00pm.