There’s too much sap and precious few laughs in the latest offering from Winnipeg’s Leigh-Anne Kehler.
She’s the creator of the popular FemMennonite series that traced her struggle to reconcile her adventurous spirit with her conservative Menno upbringing. This is the final instalment of the trilogy, the one where she and her Jewish filmmaker husband get pregnant after a decade of failure and sadness. She really is very pregnant onstage, where she’s recreated the last few months of enforced bed-rest.
It’s a heartfelt and polished performance. But, unlike the other FemMennonite plays, which spoke to everyone’s relationship with their roots, it’s pretty much irrelevant to anyone but Kehler and maybe her family. All of Kehler’s former sass is replaced by meandering, fey fairy tales and self-involved Hallmark musings on how her child is a new beginning.
It’s possible to be very happy for Kehler and still want to see a play that’s about something more than her particular pregnancy.
— Mary Agnes Welch
From the official Fringe Festival program:
"It's a miracle!" Ten years they tried and ten years they failed. Finally the Jewish filmmaker and the Menno princess have conceived their Mennojew/Jewonite.
Now a tiny fetal mouth hungers for kugal and farmer sausage.
A voice cries on the prairie, echoes in the synagogue, "Mazel Tov!"
The final chapter in the FemMennonite series. The end. The beginning.
Venue#16 PTE - Mainstage 393 Portage Ave (Portage Place, 3rd Floor)
Under 14 not admitted.