Phenomenal Calgary talents team for another winning production in Lunchbox Theatre’s The Pink Unicorn

Caroline Russell-King offers her postcard review of Lunchbox Theatre’s latest production The Pink Unicorn.

Show: The Pink Unicorn.

Playwright(s): Elise Forier Edie.

Production company/theatre space: Lunchbox Theatre.

Length: One act (60 mins., no intermission).

Genre(s): Drama.

Premise: In an effort to support her daughter’s new identity, this widow confronts her own homophobia (and other “isms”), the school principle, her mother and the church minister in order to work with activists and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) to form a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance).

Why this play? Why now?: Unfortunately this play is still relevant to some of the population in the United States and sadly to some in Canada.

Curiosities: I wonder when we will see these plays as outdated, but judging by the headlines I suppose this won’t be any time soon. Full disclosure: I am a card caring ACLU member, atheist, political protester and I wondered aren’t most of us who come to theatre on the side of liberal arts and justice? Secondly, even though Elinor Holt does a fine job of illustrating her points by impersonating other people, I was really curious as to why the playwright chose to “tell the story” rather than “show the story.” And lastly, why it was all done in backstory? Telling a story about events that happened isn’t nearly as dramatic and powerful as showing what happens in real time, keeping tension and life-and-death stakes alive. 

Notable moment: The sibling scene in the bar is a beautifully done moment.

Notable writing: First performed as a solo show by the playwright and winner of a “Best Storyteller” award, the writing is adept and folky, if not a little preachy.

Notable performances: Elinor Holt’s talent is phenomenal. She was able to make me care about a character I didn’t like.

Notable design/production: The multipurpose set design was well designed, keeping the action fluid. The wig, makeup and costume were also perfect, all thanks to Trevor Schmidt.

Notable direction: Trevor Schmidt and Elinor Holt have worked together many times and this show is another magic combination of their talents.

One reason to see this show: Elinor Holt gives a masterclass in acting.

(Photo of Elinor Holt as Trisha Lee in The Pink Unicorn courtesy Elise Forier Edie.)

The Pink Unicorn runs at Lunchbox Theatre until Oct. 5.

Caroline Russell-King is a playwright, dramaturg, and instructor. She is a member of The Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Dramatist Guild of America and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You can find her work here