There is a dog onstage, just don’t expect it to bark. Victoria Melody’s Major Tom is a refreshingly humorous one woman (and dog) show about a journey through numerous dog shows and one beauty pageant. Narrated onstage by Melody, with the help of various clips from her experiences, Major Tom takes its audience on a quaint adventure that is unlike anything you have ever experienced. Along for the ride is Melody’s six year old basset hound Major Tom, who spends the majority of his time fast asleep on his bed onstage, only rising for a drink of water or occasionally at the behest of his master.
Major Tom is one part documentary and one part dog show. While Melody weaves a delightful tale of amateur British dog shows and grueling weight loss workouts, the audience can’t help but sneak a peek at Major Tom. He is most often found sound asleep on his bed, but at some points we find him wandering about the stage, exploring and looking for another place to sleep. It is in these unplanned moments where the show shines, as Melody’s story combines with her dog’s amusing onstage presence in the formation of something truly unique that is both unexpected and welcoming.
In Major Tom, Melody explores themes of beauty and competition in her path through dog shows and beauty pageants. She plays with the dominant view of beauty as it relates to the beauty pageant. The comparison between her own beauty pageant and Major Tom's dog shows are a further examination into what beauty means. Beyond the silly videos and the stubborn, bored dog onstage, Melody peels back multiple layers to expose the societal flaws inherent to beauty without straying from the playful approach that the show is built upon.
Major Tom is clever. Under the guise of a simple idea, a funny story about a dog featuring a dog, Melody looks at beauty through multiple lenses and makes us wonder about our own ideas of beauty. She does so without ceasing to be charming and without abandoning the pretence that this is, at the heart, a story about a beautiful dog. For dog lovers, this is one not to miss. For everyone else, you might call yourself a dog lover after it’s over.
Major Tom runs until March 1st. Tickets are $29. Call 416.973.4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com for tickets.