; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: No. 2 at The Cultch

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

No. 2 at The Cultch

Thank goodness for the PuSh Festival. Without it, Vancouverites may not have gotten the privilege to see the show No. 2, which opened last night at the Cultch. And what a loss that would have been.

Madeleine Sami stars in this one-woman show and turns out a tour de force performance, encapsulating nine different characters amidst a bare black backdrop. It's just her and a chair, but oh what a journey she will take you on! From the grandmotherly matriarch who is ready to name her successor, to a baby boy named Moses who karaokes off-key. Along the way, Sami brings to life a stoic grandson who has worked all night but is ready to help his grandmother out with preparing for the day's festivities. There's also the hard-working grand-daughter Charlene, not to be confused with the model/actress grand-daughter Hibiscus, both characters distinguished with ease thanks to Sami's talent. Throw in some hip-hop dancing, an old priest, a gangsta wannabe, and a British girl, and despite the solo spotlight, that stage is packed.

Madeleine Sami flows seamlessly from character to character with total ease and fluidity, aging forwards and backwards and changing genders, all in the blink of an eye. Her performance brought the audience to their feet in a well-deserved standing ovation that lasted through three encores for the actress. I don't think I have ever seen a Vancouver audience that thrilled before! It was wonderful to see people really appreciating good theatre and giving that love back to the performers and the people who created it. Well done, Vancouver! And well done, PuSh festival and the Cultch! Thanks for adding to my month of discovering amazing theatre in our city!

If you haven't had a chance to get out to see any PuSh performances, then shame on you! But it's not too late. No. 2 plays until February 4 at The Cultch, so get your tickets quickly! No. 2 is a number one choice at the PuSh festival, if you're looking for suggestions!

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