Beaux Gestes & Beautiful Deeds
April 9, 2004 – May 9, 2004
written by Marie-Lynn Hammond
directed by John van Burek
set & costume design: Andjelija Djuric
lighting design: Paul Mathiesen
music: Justin Haynes
BEAUX GESTES AND BEAUTIFUL DEEDS, a play with music, is a joyful celebration of the complexities of life, written by the well-known singer and songwriter, Marie-Lynn Hammond.
Set in 1944 and the present, Beaux Gestes and Beautiful Deeds brings together three amazing women: Elsie Hammond, a flamboyant English-Canadian lady of means from Vancouver, Corinne Allard a hard-working canadienne-française, a survivor, from the poorest parts of Ottawa and Sudbury, and their granddaughter, who is none other than Marie-Lynn Hammond herself. In 1944, Elsie and Corinne have both been recently widowed. The world is an uncertain place and they wonder about the future of their newborn grandchild, Marie-Lynn, as they look back on the twists and turns of their own lives.
It’s against all odds that Elsie and Corinne have been brought together by their headstrong children in their wartime romance. Though language, religion and economics set them worlds apart, between them they cover the whole spectrum of Canadian society and now their granddaughter, Marie-Lynn, lives on trying to balance within her these contradictory halves of our national culture.
Marie-Lynn Hammond wrote her play using the true stories of her wonderful grandmothers, and she knits them together with her lively, haunting and toe-tapping songs. Beaux Gestes and Beautiful Deeds is a moving, funny and exhilarating image of what it is to be Canadian, since most of us carry some form of cultural duality that makes life all the more challenging and rich.
Photography: Cylla von Tiedemann