Quebec-based Belzébrute Theatre has a wonderful show that really must be taken on the road for more people to see. If there’s a lesson to be learned afterwards, many a person from the entertainment industry will get it. The creative minds behind this production know how rigorous life is when constantly travelling, hitting places like Radio City Music Hall, just to perform night after night. Between balancing the struggles for finding recognition to just finding that me time to relax, the team who wrote this show created an entertainingly comic product which brings nearly a century of the best performers from live entertainment into a fun-filled 90-minute production.
Mr P – The Story of the Real Mr Potato Head looks at the life and times of the world’s most famous nightshade. An usherette welcomes audiences as they come in and provides much of the live music. The silent film montage introducing the spud gives this show a surreal-like quality ala Toy Story (especially when Pogo the sausage dog is introduced), and when he can channel the best — ranging from Frank Sinatra to Elvis to Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury — this potato can win many a crowd!
But for every bright side comes a dark one; the wear and tear of touring and travelling takes a toll on this potato. The contrasts are made and that’s what makes this show compelling. The kid-friendly show removes the adult themes (alcoholism and desire to end it all, somewhat like in “Bohemian Rhapsody”). The story is the same in both versions. Fortunately for this entertainer, he has his faithful companion by his side.
When Mr P longs to take a break, his management does not allow him to. The story looks at how difficult life is when this vegetable thinks he can make it to the very top, Not everyone can be like Arnold Schwarzenegger and gain a place in the political arena. I can not help but think about how some entertainers are philanthropists and advocates for special causes. he could have ventured into this arena, but that would have made this show too long. This show examines the cost of fame. Just how much love does he need to earn? Can he avoid the paparazzi? Can he find a life of peace? When considering the “mysterious” circumstances famed celebrities died off, like Bruce Lee and Amelia Earhart at the height of the career, could he simply retire to living a life in peace? Who knows. My advice is to see this show to get the answer when it arrives at a local venue near you.
To stay updated to where this troupe will take this show next, please follow their Facebook page. They have also created works like Manga! (inspired by anime) and Shavirez (a Nordic tale which includes a rubber duck). To see them come to Victoria, BC to perform is a great way to cure the Fringe Festival blues. I need my theatre, and this show is tops when showing a love for all things pop culture.
5 Blokes out of 5