The final play of Centaur Theater’s 49th season finds itself to be none other than the iconic Hosanna, written by Montreal novelist and playwright Michel Tremblay. Following the award-winning success of the Tableau D’Hôte Theater production at the MainLine Theater in 2015, the original 1973 play is being brought back for an encore on the Centaur stage under the direction of Mike Payette and stars Eloi ArchamBaudoin and Davide Chiazzese.
Hosanna, the character who lends her name to this story, is Claude, is Elizabeth Taylor, is Cleopatra. In fact, she has many personalities.
We meet the two main characters after a humiliating Halloween party where Hosanna is betrayed by her lover. The story follows their return home and the tumultuous night that follows. They deal with their strained relationship, and Hosanna faces her deepest insecurities. She battles with shedding her mask to be her true naked self in front of the man that she loves.
When walking in, we noticed the theater was a tad smoky which gave it a look that immediately created an intimacy between the audience, the characters and their 1970s apartment where the stage is set. An ode to a Montreal of days past found its way into our present through names of streets, familiar locations and the usage of Franglais that is unique to this city.
The play was witty and profound, and the actors’ performances captured the audience, making us feel as if we were right there with Hosanna and Cuirette in their home – making us laugh, making us think and making us feel the pain found in their silences.
We were given a small glimpse of the issues of the time for the LGBTQ+ community through the various experiences of the characters including having to hide your true self, losing your place of refuge, dealing with family tensions and going through an identity crisis. These aspects also find relevance in this day and age. All of which was depicted with moving honesty and vulnerability that stayed with us even after leaving the theater.
The show plays until June 10th at the Centaur Theater in beautiful Old Montreal. If you are interested in connecting to a personal story involving issues from the LGBTQ community or merely looking to be moved by personal obstacles that may or may not relate to you, this play is for you. For more information about the show and to buy tickets, visit their website here.