LSM Newswire

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bye Bye Baby (in French), Imago & Monument-National - March 19-28


Bye Bye Baby

By Elyse Gasco, Translated by Maryse Warda

Directed by Clare Schapiro

March 19-28, 2009

"Just give me her name. I won't even look for her. But at least I'll have something real." - Ellie

MONTREAL, February 2009 - Imago Theatre, in association with the Monument-National, is proud to present the French-language translation of Elyse Gasco's acclaimed success, Bye Bye Baby, directed anew by Clare Schapiro. The play first premiered in English in 2004 to critical and audience ovation and was subsequently remounted as part of Centaur Theatre's 2005-06 season. Bye Bye Baby is a dramatic comedy about truth, redemption and forgiveness- not to mention a secret desire to be Joni Mitchell's kin.

Bye Bye Baby follows Ellie, an adopted woman, on her journey through the labyrinth of Quebec's adoption laws (the strictest in Canada) towards the discovery of her birth mother. Her quest is made all the more pivotal by the arrival of her first child. All too aware of the questions of identity that her new baby will present, she is determined to solve the riddle of her life, once and for all.

"If you don't have a birth mother, one will be appointed to you by your imagination."- Playwright

Ellie's magical, metaphorical world collides with her concrete day-to-day experiences. In this contemporary mystery, four "suspects" (the elusive Birth Mother, the chatty imaginary friend, the Adoptive Mother and the orally-fixated social worker) make their intentions clear and argue a justifiable defence for their presence or absence in Ellie's life. Filled with zany humour and theatrical imagination, Bye Bye Baby is funny, witty and moving. Director Clare Schapiro addresses the relevancy of the piece, "The issue of identity is so pertinent to Quebec and a political context far beyond." She continues, "At its heart, Bye Bye Baby is about who we are and our right to information. It is human nature to question our roots."

Speaking to current concerns, playwright Elyse Gasco adds, "For our society as a whole, the issues surrounding adoption will only become more complicated. With all the other peculiar twistsĺ─ý surrogate motherhood, anonymous egg and sperm donors ĺ─ý it is really an emotional and biological issue whose time has come."

Clare, who is also the artistic director of Imago Theatre, is thrilled to initiate this French language premiere, "Imago has always enjoyed working together with members of the French theatre community. We love the way it influences how we create our work." This French-language production has been recast and redesigned. The lauded cast includes Martine-Marie Lalande as Ellie, Nathalie Claude as her Alter Ego, Dominique Leduc as the Adoptive Mother, Mathilde Monnard as the Imaginary Birthmother and Felicia Shulman reprises her role as social worker Babs DuBois.

Escorting us into Ellie's world with their strong imagistic designs are Yannik Larivłęe (set), Amy Keith (costumes), David Perreault Ninacs (lights) and Isabelle Lussier (music). Luciana Burcheri returns as both the assistant director and stage manager.

Opening night events

Maryse Warda's translation will be published by L'instant młüme. The play, inspired by Elyse Gasco's award-winning book of short stories; Can You Wave Bye Bye, Baby?, will be available for purchase at the theatre during the run, as well as in bookstores as of March 19th. The publisher is hosting a cocktail reception on opening night in honour of the book's official launch, inviting all in attendance to stay after the performance to toast this local success story and meet the artists involved.

Imago Theatre won both the MECCA (Montreal English Critics Circle Awards) and AQCT (Association qułębłęcoise des critiques du thłęłótre) Best English Production award last season for The Baroness and The Pig. Representatives from AQCT will be in attendance on opening night to present the award.

"I have to stop myself from remembering a pregnancy I never had." -Adoptive Mother

Bye Bye Baby in French

Imago Thłęłótre

Au Monument-National, Studio Hydro-Qułębec

1182, boulevard Saint-Laurent

-ten shows only-

Tuesday to Saturday at 8:30 pm

Matinee: Saturdays at 2pm

Reservations: 514-871-2224

Tickets: $20 regular, $18 students/seniors (tax and service charges apply)

Group rates available: 514-274-3222

www.imagotheatre.ca

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