“Le Merveilleux and Marvelous World de Bonhomme Caramel,” at Montreal’s MainLine Theatre, depicts the poignant struggles of a fictional Quebec children’s show host, named Bonhomme Caramel. The one-man play, written by and starring Montreal’s James McGee, debuted at this year’s SOlOS Festival and is co-produced by Mainline and Jolly Boy Theatre Company. While McGee has performed at across North America and Europe, including “Just for Laughs,” he keeps the setting of his play as purely local as maple syrup.
Every little kid has a hero that they count on, to teach them about the world. For many of us, that champion was a guy or girl in costume, on television. Those who came of age with characters like Bobino and Mr. Rogers have undoubtedly wondered what those vibrant personalities were like off-screen. Year after year, in flamboyant outfits and always in character, children’s performers are part rock star, part team-mascot. So skillful are they at the world of imagination that we forget they must also cope with the real world. For some, like Pee Wee Herman, the life of a kiddie icon is not always child’s play.
In “Bonhomme,” audiences are invited to explore 16th Century Quebec, as they hop aboard the “bateau des rêves” with Bonhomme Caramel. Unfortunately, the sailing will be less than smooth, as the jovial host is set adrift across the modern technological landscape and its many challenges.
After more than a decade in the spotlight as a professional wrestler—a career not unlike that of a nursery school teacher—McGee gleefully engages the audiences in Bonhomme’s heartfelt, loopy saga, with warmth and enthusiasm. Audiences aged 13 and over who are looking for some playful nostalgia, are promised a delightfully captivating ride.
“Le Merveilleux and Marvelous World de Bonhomme Caramel”
Sept 22-24, 8 p.m.
3997 boul. St-Laurent