2012 Toronto Fringe Festival: Mahmoud
Tara Grammy takes us on a whirlwind taxi ride in this animated one-woman show
Presented by Pandemic Theatre
Written by Tara Grammy and Tom Arthur Davis
Many people come to Canada in search of a better life. Mahmoud, the title character of Pandemic Theatre's one-woman show, starring feisty Iranian-born actress Tara Grammy, is just one example, but his story speaks to the immigrant experience at large: an engineer back in Iran, Mahmoud drives a taxi in Toronto—a humbling experience for someone with a PHD. He misses his homeland, yet won't return, and hasn't fully embraced the new country in which he has lived and worked for 25 years.
Mahmoud, now playing at the Tarragon Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, explores these issues of displacement through the eyes of three very different characters. In addition to Mahmoud, Grammy plays an over-the-top gay Spaniard who falls for an Iranian man, and a little Iranian girl-cum-actress named Tara (presumably modeled after Grammy herself) who "wishes she was from somewhere normal, like Hamilton," and tries to alter her dark features with Nair hair removal cream and blonde hair dye.
At 55 minutes, this action-filled show packs a powerful punch. The ultra-talented Grammy moves in and out of character with ease, making great use of costumes and props, in perfect sync with the top-notch lighting and sound design. Poised to make it's New York City debut at the New York International Fringe Festival, Mahmoud is bound to attract attention on the world stage. Highly recommended!
Read our Q&A with Tara Grammy and Tom Arthur Davis here.
Mahmoud runs until July 14 at the Tarragon Theatre Extra Space. Visit fringetoronto.com for a full schedule and to buy tickets.