• 3 stars out of 5
• Venue 22, Garneau Theatre
Hosted by facsimiles of Canada’s First Couple, Sophie Grégoire and Justin Trudeau, Mo’ Manada takes every stereotype in the Canadian canon and sticks a pasty on it. There’s beavers with pasties, Blue Jays baseball players with pasties and hockey players with pasties. In what is truly a remarkable feat of gluteal activation, pasties are adhered to the backsides of the assembled cast, who get those babies whirling like windmills.
Produced by Toronto’s Boylesque TO, an all-male burlesque troupe, Mo’ Manada has quite a bit of fun with stripped-down lumberjacks and Mounties. The Trudeaus as hosts is a nice touch; Johnnie Walker in drag (who has another show at the Fringe called Redheaded Stepchild) is very amusing as Sophie.
I feel a warning, however, is in order. Do not sit on the perimeter within the first five rows of the Garneau Theatre if you are in any way uncomfortable with a mostly-naked man doing the splits on your elbow. Or if you hesitate at the thought of a shirtless Justin (played by Morgan Norwich in a comparatively demure see-through bandeau that hints at nipples) snapping a selfie in your lap. Oh, and leave the kids at home.