A beautiful production ten years in the making, Blue Bird Theatre Collective and Canadian Stage are presenting Maanomaa, My Brother in Canadian Stage’s upper theatre space. Featuring the co-creators of the piece, and directed by Philip Akin, Maanomaa, My Brother is a heartwarming look at friendship, and the things that bring us back together after tearing us apart.

I loved the story of Maanomaa, My Brother; it looks like the lives of Will and Kwame, takes you from their days as inseparable boys to adulthood where oceans and lifetimes separate them from one another. This story is a perfect representation of how things like racism and hatred are taught, rather than being inherent; their love for one another as younglings and calling each other brother despite their differences is beautiful. It’s tragic to see how they’re poisoned against one another as they grow. However, the beginning of reconciliation which we see at the end of the play brought a tear to my eye.

Co-creators and co-writers Tawiah M’Carthy and Brad Cook star as Kwame and Will respectively. Their chemistry was fantastic, you can feel the trust that they have in one another and the joy it must be to create together. M’Carthy’s Kwame is such an innocent young boy, so it’s hard to see how much he’s changed in the intervening years. Cook’s Will is adventurous and sweet, and again it was sad to see how his life hadn’t gone the way he’d planned. Both actors are brilliant: their passion, honesty, and talent make this production dazzling from start to finish. With simplistic set design and clever lighting, we are able to focus on the actors and their performances, while also being transported to where the story needs to take us. I love how they give the audience a little piece of the puzzle at a time, allowing us to piece together the past with Will and Kwame. It makes that final moment all the sweeter and allows for them to show us the depth of their talents along the way.

You need to get out and see this delightful, feel-good story before it closes on April 30th. For more information and tickets, visit: https://www.canadianstage.com/shows-events/season/maanomaa

Tawiah M’Carthy and Brad Cook – Photo by Dahlia Katz


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