The majority of us do it, but not very many of us are aware of it. We are all swooned by our daily caffeine, latte, and Frappuccino fiascos to the extent that we forget about the person who actually serves us these delicious beverages. Rebecca Perry, writer and performer for Paper Plaid Productions’ Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl, deems one barista not to be forgotten.
We all have a story to tell – this is, quite simply, the premise of the show. Confessions is a collection of short stories and personal experiences combined to create one character’s life, Joanie Little (Rebecca Perry). Although not all stories are hers, the majority of Perry’s tales are derived from one coffee shop in the Annex of Toronto – a mysterious location yet to be identified. Perry takes these experiences and places a realistic, yet theatrical spin on the daily life of a regular redheaded coffee shop girl who is just trying to get by.
Successful solo performances are challenging, and there is nothing more distracting than sitting through a performance, listening to audience members complain. Perry is hereby applauded for her success in keeping the audience’s attention and invoking reflection and engagement on a personal level. While watching, you come to realize that Joanie is not ‘just another coffee shop employee’; she is a human being. Perry is thereby heralded for creating a realistic, well-developed character that not only captivates audiences, but resonates with them as well.
In keeping with the minimal Fringe touring requirements, the production is emphasized by the perfectly tasteful lighting, designed by Chin Palipane. All of the transitions were blissfully successful, as the audience passed through many of Perry’s delightful musical interludes. The music selection from independent artists such as The Head and the Heart, Courtney Lynn, and Rufus Wainwright assist to provide symbolic shifts and revelations that all audience members are sure to enjoy.
All-in-all, Rebecca Perry is cute, quaint, and quirky – you cannot go wrong. Don’t forget to grab a coffee and a ticket for this authentic Toronto production.
Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl is part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, running from July 2nd-13th at the Annex Theatre. To purchase your tickets in advance, please visit www.torontofringe.com and be sure to visit the shows website at www.redheadedcsg.com.