Posted 07.09.05

Review: The Tall Girl
By George Rideout
Theatre Lac Brome, Knowlton, Quebec

KNOWLTON, QC | I didn't have any real expectations when I attended the opening night on July 1 of George Rideout's latest play, The Tall Girl, at Theatre Lac Brome here.

Sure, I knew the script was going to be good, since Rideout does know a thing or two about writing plays (An Anglophone is Coming to Dinner, The Longstreth Line, Dead Together, The Lily Plays, Texas Boy).

And I expected strong performances by Rideout's wife Jo Jo, a seasoned actress and drama professor at Bishop's University, as well as from Laurel Thomson, an experienced actress and graduate of the National Theatre School.

All three are friends so attending the opening night was the least I could do. I expected a good show.

What I didn't expect was the rollercoaster ride of emotions that you get from great theatre.

As the lights came up, above the sniffling I overheard the woman sitting two seats from me exclaim that this was the best show she had ever seen at that theatre.

Although billed as a romantic comedy, It's a love story, albeit a heartbreaking one.

Rideout takes us back to 1941, to the United States of America, when war was raging in Europe, when women with Bachelor's degrees worked as secretaries, and where the science and art of good breeding, according to The Task of Social Hygiene by Havelock Ellis, has once again reared its ugly head.

The play touches upon topics of class discrimination, social standing, and women's rights. But at the heart of it, the play is about integrity and love.

The story does take a tragic turn, though, and without giving the ending away, I suggest you bring a tissue or two.

(Playdates coming upů)

Copyright © 2005 Annie Duriez/Log Cabin Chronicles/07.05