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*Copyright notice*
All contents of this site are copyright of Bottle Tree Productions, Anne Marie Mortensen, and Charles Robertson, except where acknowledgment is given otherwise. You may not reproduce the content of this site without express written permission from one of us. You may link back to the site. YOu may link to an appropriate page but not directly to a download. You may not use images without written permission. You may not offer monologues or other downloads available on this site as if they were your own. You may use monologues for audition and learning purposes only, as PRINTED material.

Eye Magazine Theatre Review



GHOST OF THE TREE

Featuring Mackenzie Gruer. Written and directed by Charles Robertson. Presented by studio blr. To Sat. Thu, Sat 8pm. $10. Siesta Nouveaux, 15 Lower Sherbourne. 416-364-4556

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Let's face it -- one-person shows are too often self-indulgent and boring. And besides, if you really love watching people talk to themselves, you can ride the TTC for only $2.50. But writer-director Charles Robertson's Ghost of the Tree -- in which Mackenzie Gruer portrays seven generations of related women -- feels surprisingly understated and engaging, thanks in part to its rapid pacing. Before you tire of the anal-retentive 1950s housewife, you meet her free-spirited and intelligent lesbian mother and then her mentally handicapped grandmother. Moving backward in time, Robertson reveals each woman's ultimate fate before depicting a small slice of her life, leaving an intriguing gap between what we know and what we see.

Unfortunately, Robertson tries slightly too hard to tie his distinctive characters to generational stereotypes. When the self-absorbed and self-destructive 1980s real estate agent aggressively snorts a line of coke and declares, "This is the '80s and the individual's king," it comes off like a lame Scarface parody. Luckily, Mackenzie Gruer's dynamic and realistic performance often guides the seven characters away from broad generalities, subtly highlighting their conflicting and common intergenerational threads.

JAMES SIMONS

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Purchase a copy of this script. $10.00 CDN

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