With Bated Breath

Posted on April 23rd, 2009 by .

Truth is a good thing. So I’m going to be truthful with you – Montréal is not necessarily the destination you might think of when considering the North American (English) theatre scene. But every once and a while a gem comes along that you don’t want to miss.

A gem has arrived.

Get the explicit details…

Truth is a good thing. So I’m going to be truthful with you – Montréal is not necessarily the destination you might think of when considering the North American (English) theatre scene. But every once and a while a gem comes along that you don’t want to miss.

WITH BATED BREATH is a tale that is all too familiar: gay kid leaves small town for large urban center to seek like-mind individuals. In this case, it’s troubled but charismatic Willy fleeing Cape Breton to find comfort among the strippers and exiles of Montréal’s red light district. He soon goes missing without a trace, and what follows is a nonlinear exploration of the internal workings of the people he has impacted.

It’s a sensual and provocative tale set right here in Montréal. Richard Ouzanian of the Toronto Star said, “If Tennesee Williams were from the Maritimes and writing today, he’d sound a lot like Bryden MacDonald.”

I spoke with the play writer and director about the importance of Montréal in this play. MacDonald could have used any city as the backdrop for a fleeing queer kid. “There is something culturally different about Montréal,” says MacDonald. “The flavor of the gay district has its own personality. There is a unique sense of community here that was essential for Willy to land in. It’s an important backdrop for reinvention.”

This is a racy, character-driven play, but MacDonald emphasizes that the nudity and arousing burlesque is not gratuitous. “There is a release of inhibitions, a freedom that is attained. In the play, stripping is a mere metaphor for the act of revealing truth.”

And, like I said, truth is a good thing.

WITH BATED BREATH runs from April 21st – May 24th at the Centaur Theatre.

Warning: Nudity and Strong Language! (Ha! As if that’s stopped you before!)

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