Took a break from Fringing last night to travel out to Café Chez Hélène (1437 Kingston Rd., just west of Warden) for Roof’s Off!, a one-night solo show double header featuring Kat Leonard’s My Selfie and Hélène Nicole’s Secrets of a Single Dysfunctional “French” Woman.
Leonard’s My Selfie is an ever-evolving, joyful work in progress, as she tweaks and tailors each performance for entertainment or workshop purposes. It’s a great big love letter to her body – from head to toe, she expresses gratitude for each part, sharing anecdotes and songs along the way. And, best of all, she encourages the audience to consider the skin they’re in – and how our bodies make up a relatively tiny portion of who we are. Keep an eye out for future performances of this entertaining, engaging and touching one-woman show.
Nicole’s Secrets of a Single Dysfunctional “French” Woman is a confessional cabaret of songs (mostly originals by Nicole), woven together with brief stories about life as a single gal who’s loved and lost, from being an entrepreneur/businesswoman in Montreal to an artist/café owner in Toronto (Café Chez Hélène is her place). The performance is charming and entertaining, with touches of wistful melancholy. Singing in English and French, Nicole’s music is inspired by country/folk music and ballads, and was accompanied last night by guest Léo, a visitor from France, who played guitar and piano when Nicole wasn’t strumming the guitar herself. To add to the fun, as a finale, Nicole hosted a dance contest between Leo and two male audience members, inviting others to play percussion instruments. In the end, Leonard’s Soulo Theatre Masterclass classmate Chris was the winner. Also a work in progress, Secrets of a Single Dysfunctional “French” Woman will be transformed and developed – so be sure to look out for future productions. In the meantime, check out Café Chez Hélène’s bilingual open mic nights on Wednesdays.