Maxime Denommée and Léane Labrèche-Dor (photo: François Brunelle)Beyond The Page
by Nanette Soucy
In retrospect, it would be disingenuous of me to say that I didn’t know what I was getting into. In fact, that I actually knew Michel Marc Bouchard’s Les Muses orphelines was one of the primary reasons I was so excited about seeing it in the first place. Going to see a play I have a clue about before I’ve bought my tickets is an unusual occurrence for me. I was of the breed of theatre student that was entirely too busy with school to actually learn anything, and even now I seldom read plays I don’t have to work on. Last night at Théâtre Jean Duceppe, I was reminded why: it’s almost entirely futile.
In all the hours, all the brainpower I’d spent as an undergrad dissecting Les Muses orphelines on paper, I couldn’t get it.
I may have pored over the pages of Les Muses orphelines in both official languages, and read articles and reviews and written papers and participated in class discussions, really, what’s not to love? A prolific Canadian playwright, a complex family drama, a lie that curls and flowers like Spanish lace. Exoticism. Romance. Chez nous. The nostalgia of the 60’s being nostalgic for the 40’s. A cast of strong women. A man in a ridiculous skirt. But it hardly mattered. Not a stitch of that analysis meant a thing the moment Léane Labrèche-Dor’s Isabelle made her entrance.