Oh Janny girl
A writer named Jan reflects on the sins and secrets of her Irish upbringing in Canada, in "Snapshot."
By ROBIN EISGRAU
In "Snapshot," Jan, a writer (played by Joanne Latimer), reflects back on her
youth in a working-class Irish family in Toronto, focusing mainly on
memories of her Aunt Sissy.
Played with commanding prescence and gusto by the play's author, Samantha
Swan, Sissy is a boozy, sensual force of nature with a lust for life and a
penchant for dancing at the drop of a hat. There's a strong bond between
Sissy and the young Jan as the Aunt insistes that she get out and see the
world and escape the kind of life Sissy has.|
Swan makes Sissy charismatic as
she smiles and charms her way into various hearts, including that of her
latest husband, the too-young, fiery-tempered Dermot, whose agression
causes Sissy to miscarry and gives her a black eye. There's a sweet
bartender who longs to take care of Sissy and it's a very sweet moment in
the play when he sees her home after she's had one too many.
As Sissy is on
her downward spiral, Jan's talent is emerging as her writing skills gain her
entry into a special school. Especially lyrical is a scene in the play when
Sissy confesses to a very open young priest and she tells him of how she had
sex with a stranger in a movie theater. (The same actor plays the priest and
the stranger, which adds a layer of complexity to the action.)
Dermot get darker and he becomes more abusive, yet Sissy can't leave him.
The two men in the play, Steven Puchalski and Sergio Gallinaro play over a
dozen roles between them and really do a remarkable job. Snapshot is a very
poignant look at a life that is bigger than its confines. Moving and tender,
with characters you feel as if you've really gotten to know, this play is
a vibrant exercise for the emotions.
|AUGUST 24, 2001|
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