Reviews - Fringe 2019

Confessions of an Operatic Mute

By Bryan Boodhoo
Published July 29, 2019

Briane Nasimok, that's Brian with an "e" added to the end, has lived a very interesting life in the arts, and he's managed to turn that life into a number of very amusing stories. To me he's reminiscent of someone like Bob Newhart, with very understated humour.

Nasimok goes through his life of dating, smoking cannabis at inopportune moments, rising to be operatic management-all while being part of many, many operas, and never saying a word. Nasimok is a supernumerary, or an operatic extra, meaning he gets paid to stand on stage during operas and not say anything. Nice work if you can get it.

Although this shows purports to be a confessional, like many other one-person shows at the Fringe, but it's not really a confessional. It's really Nasimok telling stories from his life to the audience.

This is a very good show. To take it to the next level, Nasimok may want to consider greater use of multimedia. For more than 90 percent of the show, we're left watching Nasimok in business attire, while the operatic costume staples, like the horned helmet, hang on a coat rack.

Nasimok also has another show at the Fringe, Izzy and Nas, which is also a story-telling show. He may have suffered from a fortune of riches at Hamilton Fringe, in that he was physically tired when I saw him, having done something like 3 or 4 shows in 48 hours. Despite the insanity of his Fringe schedule, Nasimok managed to keep energy levels high. I hope for his sake he is able to take a well-deserved break after Fringe-although I do appreciate the adrenaline reserves he must have drawn upon.

This show is a must-see for anyone who loves opera (like myself), and is highly recommend for anyone who likes story-telling and remembers (or wishes to get to know) Toronto in the last part of the last millennium.

Bryan Boodhoo is a Hamilton-based playwright, director, short fiction writer and lawyer. His plays have been produced in Edmonton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton. He is also part of the Theatre Aquarius Playwright's Unit. His most recent play, "G-Star Live's Notes from IKEA Burlington" is playing at Evergreen Hamilton Community Storefront (294 James St. North) as part of the 2018 Hamilton Fringe Gallery series.


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