My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding

by Ron Bennison

Performances Resume February 26, 2010

First Block of Tickets Now On Sale for Performances Until March 21, 2010

Venue: The Panasonic Theatre – 651 Yonge St. Toronto (just south of Bloor)

My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding returned to The Panasonic Theatre February 26th, 2010 to a sold out house. It was first performed in July 2009 at the Bread & Circus Theatre in Kensington market as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival where it was discovered by David Mirvish, expanded and launched in the Panasonic theatre the Mirvish 2009-2010 season.

This musical comedy, written, produced and performed by David Hein and wife Irene Carl Sankoff is about the real-life story of David's mother Claire leaving him and his father in Saskatchewan, moving to Ottawa, discovering her true self, falling in love with another woman, coming out to David as a lesbian, rediscovering her Jewish heritage, and then re-marrying her new love in a unique Jewish, Wiccan interfaith ceremony. Mazel tov!

Narrated and accompanied by David Hein on guitar with an onstage backup band, the show pivots around Claire the mother played brilliantly by Lisa Horner whom many will recognize from her “Start the Car” IKEA commercial, and features Rosemary Doyle, as Jane the witch, Lori Nancy as Irene, and Kyle Orzech as young David. The show also features Irene Carl Sankoff, Jackie English, Robert B. Kennedy, Ted Simonett and Astrid Van Wieren.

The cast shine individually but it’s the group numbers that steal the show. The songs are funny, provocative and beautifully performed. My only disappointment was not being able to hear some of the lyrics over the laughter. Highlights include:

“Wiccan 10” – Jane the witch introduces Claire and the audience to the notion that white magic is all around us all the time and is something as simple as a prayer or a wish or the reasons that the seasons change.

“Hot Lesbian Action” – Playfully mocksthe heterosexual male’s imaginings of what lesbians are like together in a romp that begins with washing the dishes.

“A Short History of Gay Marriage in Canada” – This musical history lesson on the hard fought 40 year struggle to “Legalize Love” across Canada pulled tears of national pride out of me and made me want to get married.

“Don’t take your Lesbians Moms to Hooters” – Will have you rolling in the aisles as objectification is stacked against empowerment with a little cross-dressing thrown in for good measure.

You Don’t Need a Penis” – Is an hysterical anatomy lesson in the alternatives available to address the issues of birth control, size, faking and fun and reminds us, “You can still toss your salad without a carrot”.

Porta-Potty”- Reminds us that in life, don’t look back and .... don’t look down.

Perhaps because this story about a woman’s journey is told from her child’s point of view, the subject matter never veers too far into the persecution or marginalization of women, lesbians, Jews or witches. And, set against the multicultural experiment in tolerance that is working – Canada - this story of female empowerment is really about the possibilities that can exist if you are true to yourself, open to others, willing to try new things and go to new places you’ve never been, willing to share your feelings and never forgetting the past while facing the future together.

This show will have you alternately smiling, crying and belly-laughing from start to finish. It may even make you proud to be a Canadian if you aren’t already.

Directed by: Andrew Lamb
Assistant Director: Jackie English
Musical Direction and Book by: David Hein
Costume Design by: Lindsay Anne Black
Lighting Design by: Michelle Ramsay
Sound Design by: Richard Feren


New Performance Schedule & Prices:
Tues 8 PM -- All Seats $25
Wed 8 PM -- $30 & $45
Thur 8 PM -- $30 & $45
Fri 8 PM -- $45 & $60
New Time! - Sat 5 PM -- $30 & $45
New Time! - Sat 9 PM -- $45 & $60
New Time! - Sun 7 PM -- All Seats $25