Dave Deveau could just have easily called his Tiny Replicas, tiny reflections, as he holds up a mirror to his own life (and that of his partner Cameron Mackenzie), providing us with a very personal glimpse into queer baby making that is both touching and funny.
Simon (Nicholas Carella) and Ethan (Sean Hewlett) want a baby. They enlist the help of lesbian friend Dayna (Marlene Ginader) to provide the egg and straight friend Audrey (Julie McIsaac) to receive both the egg and Simon’s sperm. Bringing a new life into the world is never easy, but this unconventional family works through the unique obstacles to make it a reality.
Carella provides some of the truest moments on stage here, whether it is in his joy upon discovering the sex of the coming baby, questioning his commitment or merely showing affection towards Ethan. Surprisingly I also found myself drawn to the performance of Greg Armstrong-Morris, as Simon’s best friend Jude, who works successfully against what could easily have become a gay stereotype.
Director Cameron Mackenzie has done a great job in translating his partner-in-real-life’s words to the stage in this semi-autobiographical piece. While it could be said that this should be an easy process given he has lived some of what we are seeing on stage, the reality is quite different, taking great trust and skill in bringing some very intimate moments to life.
Given the very linear look of the simple set I was hoping for it to perhaps represent the nine month timeline of the story but it still worked well moving us easily from scene to scene. Jergus Oprsal was obviously fighting the opening night lighting gods although I am sure it can’t be easy when sharing a space with other shows in a festival setting.
Vancouver’s local theatre scene can sometimes be devoid of shows that reflect our community, but to see our stories reflected in such a personal way as in Tiny Replicas is simply wonderful.
Don’t wait though, unlike the nine months it takes to make a tiny replica, this Tiny Replicas is only around for a few more days!
Tiny Replicas (as part of the Neanderthal Arts Festival)
21 – 25 July 2010
The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street
Visit http://www.thal.ca for tickets and show times.