part of SummerWorks Festival
August 14, Factory Theatre - Toronto
Nobody's Business Theatre
Written & performed by Johnnie Walker
Directed by Morgan Norwich
But I digress. I'm an atypical child, says Nicholas when he first appears, and never truer words were spoke. The set is quite spare, just the bare stage as his room and an old blue trunk out of which Nicholas pulls various toys. With the lid raised, it (surprisingly) serves well as a screen for minor costume changes.(photo by Greg Wong)
And see, Nicholas isn't just the redheaded stepchild of urban parlance, he likes show tunes, and connects with Rita Hayworth when his search for a male role model can only turn up David Caruso at best. He just doesn't fit in, in other words, and the school bullies make him pay for that in increasingly violent ways - including a Facebook page inviting people to his beating. Add Maryanne, the stepmother and third character, a jockish woman who never saw herself as a mother. She's not evil, but she's definitely not in tune with the needs of a troubled and precocious preteen.
Like Nicholas, my mother was a huge Rita Hayworth fan, so I grew up in a household where redheadedness was revered. I'd heard of the ginger phenom, but the tales of outright persecution surprised me. The yank didn't hurt, by the way, I have a fairly high threshold of pain - unlike redheads, who are genetically predisposed to have a low one, yet another useful fact I learned from this engaging production.