ST. PEON OF THE PEOPLE by Caroline Azar (Theatre-A-Go-Go). Meet at Factory Theatre Courtyard. July 8-15 at 6:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNNN
If you’re willing to brave the streets of the 6ix, join Parking Enforcement Officer Nelson for a relaxed outdoors experience. Don’t worry, you’re in the hands of a seasoned pro.
Jamillah Ross is fully committed to keeping her beat safe from parking infractions. It’s like the movie Ride Along except we’re all walking (Ross shouts out handy tips to us for safely crossing the street). There’s a script, by Caroline Azar, but every show is different because the city is random as hell. Be it a curious passersby, or a TPS squad car, Ross is forced to improvise with her surroundings.
Highlights include Ross staving off a ukulele wielding suitor (Stevie Jay), a fool who obviously doesn’t know RIta “Not your meter-maid” Nelson. Ross has got a familiarity that makes you want to say “Hey Auntie!” We need more women of colour in comedic spaces. As an alumnus of Toronto’s Second City Mainstage, her funny credentials are impeccable.
There are scripted homeless people, and there are the actual homeless people. Ross never breaks character, juggling both with aplomb and hilarity. How Ross keeps her twist out on fleek in this Toronto heat is beyond me. True queen. Even the actual police slowed down to see what was happening with this megaphone-touting public servant.
Best field trip ever.