Café O’Lait Cabaret’s “Ladies’ Advice for Ladies,” featured at Festival St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE, is billed as “A feminist satire—including comedy, dance and circus, very lady-like burlesque, very exciting ladies’ advice, ladies’ poetry for ladies and much more!” The playfully insolent comedy stars circus artist Marianne Trenka and improv artist/ comedian/ actress Tessa J. Brown, as Florence and Emily, two wise, old-school ladies with a plethora of pithy wisdom to dispense.
Florence and Emily evolved from the effervescent chemistry between Trenka and Brown. “We were always doing cabaret shows together, always getting kicked out of the dressing room for making everyone laugh,” says Brown. Two years ago, the duo started writing skits involving “a pair of silly British women.” When earlier this year they were given the opportunity to perform at the prestigious Adelaide FRINGE, they knew they “had enough bits to create a really strong show.” “Ladies” was a resounding hit. “The reviews were solid and we had bigger and bigger crowds every night.” Adelaide’s Great Scott Media declared the show “a whimsical, funny, incisive romp through the absurdities of socially imposed femininity.”
With the opportunity to present at the Montreal FRINGE, Brown and Trenka decided to modify the show a bit. “We brought in director Kendall Savage to help us break it down, since we had enough material for five shows. She helped us clean it up; it’s a much stronger show now.”
Brown is overjoyed to introduce “Ladies” to Montreal audiences and the city’s dedicated theater community. “There’s so much warmth and affection, so many people who want you to do well. We all support and play at each other’s shows. Everybody here believes, ‘The more we work together, the better we all do.’”
June 9-11, 16-19
5171 du Parc
Tickets: $25/$30 door