THE (POST) MISTRESS
By Tomson Highway
“In The (Post) Mistress, you see Highway’s idea of beauty – a Peruvian-Canadian from Northern Ontario singing to a Brazilian beat in an indigenous language. It is a beautiful vision… Cano is a lovely performer in all three languages. She exudes warmth from head to toe – developing a genuine rapport with the audience few actors know how to conjure.”
— J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail
Canada’s foremost Aboriginal playwright teams up with a formidable performing artist who is on her way to stardom.
This touching, very zesty, one-woman musical was written by Tomson Highway for the amazing Canadian actor/singer, Patricia Cano.
Our post mistress, Marie-Louise Painchaud, has spent her life in the tiny town of Lovely, Ontario, somewhere along the French River. Of course, she is privy to the loves, lies, secrets and dreams of all the townsfolk, whose missives pass through her little office. But more than that, Marie-Louise has a special ability to divine their letters through their unopened envelopes and to make of each one, a glorious song. Depending on whose story she is telling, she sings them in English, Cree and French… because she is all of these, and more! At the end, we learn that her special powers came to her, Special Delivery, from that great Post Office in the Sky.
A magical piece, never performed in Toronto, from the pen of Tomson Highway. Here, he has given a gentle, First Nations voice and a whole world of music to these wonderful stories and songs. A delightful discovery for all!
Starring Patricia Cano with Tomson Highway on piano and Marcus Ali on saxophone.
Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street, Toronto
En français, Zesty Gopher s’est fait écraser par un frigo, du 12 au 23 octobre
In English, The (Post) Mistress, from October 25th – November 6th
French performances are surtitled into English
English performances are surtitled into French
Surtitles sponsored by TD.
A co-production with Théâtre français
Photo of Tomson Highway by Sean Howard & Photo of Patricia Cano by Brian McNally
Tomson Highway: The Return of an Icon
Tomson Highway was born in a snow bank on the Manitoba/Nunavut border to a family of nomadic caribou hunters. He had the great privilege of growing up in two languages, neither of which was French or English; they were Cree, his mother tongue, and Dene, the language of the neighbouring "nation," a people with whom they roamed and hunted.
Today, he enjoys an international career as playwright, novelist, and pianist/songwriter. His best known works are the plays, "THE REZ SISTERS," "DRY LIPS OUGHTA MOVE TO KAPUSKASING," "ROSE," "ERNESTINE SHUSWAP GETS HER TROUT," and the best-selling novel, "KISS OF THE FUR QUEEN." For many years, he ran Canada's premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts (based in Toronto), out of which has emerged an entire generation of professional Native playwrights, actors and, more indirectly, the many other Native theatre companies that now dot the country.
Photo by Sean Howard