The Edmonton Journal Saturday, August 14, 2004
New talent cooks up a cross-cultural treat
By Alan Kellogg ***

Michelle is on the line to her parents back in Edmonton, a dad of Jamaican extraction, her mom a Filipino. Their baby girl – a Ross Sheppard grad – is trying to tell them she’s preggers, living happily with Bob, a guy of anglo-Ukranian descent. They won’t even listen and it’s driving her crazy.
Somehow, the irritation of the moment transports Michelle back to her Meadowlark west-end rots. We’re along for the ride, as she regales us with tales of growing up balancing the proud cultural underpinnings of her parents with the stereotyping inclinations of her classmates. For her part, she knows exactly who she is, especially since she’s discovered hair mousse: a young woman from Edmonton. Period.

She’s got issues. Stow the Nubian princess thing, blow out the Filipino cutesy nicknames and don’t knock the old hometown unless you’re one of us. Her skinny sister might be mistaken for a guy, but she’s blessed with the Caribbean full-figure genes.
Michelle Todd, who wrote and performs this one-woman show, is a confident and physically adept performer with a dazzling smile who uses her myriad dance chops to fine advantage on material stretching from Tone Loc to Irish step dancing. A bit on Heritage Days multicultural high-stepping is a particular hoot.
Todd also shows promise in her writing, although the nastier side of her experience are left largely un-fleshed out, which might had added the heft she seems to be looking for. All things considered, it’s a surprisingly polished and satisfying debut from a blooming talent we can be proud to call our own.

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