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Published: Saturday, June 16, 2007
Montreal Gazette

Confessionals, autobiographies and coming of age stories come and go at Fringe festivals. Often the ones which are remembered are marked by how awfully funny the lives described were, or how awfully awful they were. Very, very occasionally, a sweet, eccentric childhood can also make the grade, as a Fringe show, but that is a very rare thing.
Deep Fried Curried Perogies is such a sweet show and it makes the grade not for its sweetness but for its utterly unusual (and yet strangely familiar) territory. Edmontonian actor/writer Michelle Todd, you see, is of Jamaican/Filipino descent. The work, however, goes beyond that to her relationship with her white boyfriend of Ukrainian descent. The focus of the show is the baby she and the beloved are about to have and how it puts all these questions of multi-ethnicity into very sharp relief.

The approach is utterly scattershot - we go back and forth in time; we fly about among the many accents that surround the story; anecdotes zip in and out and some are performed; dances are danced in a frenzy of sweaty, unbounded joy; customs and food are described, various types of music heard. Ultimately, there are very few moments of respite for this unflagging and committed performer and you simply hop on and enjoy the ride.
If one were to get preachy, one would suggest it is time to get this show in front of a harsh director and have it sharpened so that beats are taken and pauses allowed to give weight to the truly important moments.
But that's the end of the sermon. See this.
Deep Fried Curried Perogies is at Portuguese Association of Canada, 4170 St Urbain St., today at 6:15 p.m.

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