Where You Are

Keeping Secrets Never Works, Except…

Reviewed by Mary Alderson

Many problems in dysfunctional families are rooted in secrets. Or at least that is what some plays tell us. Sometimes it’s deep dark secrets that cause pain when they are uncovered. But sometimes it’s secrets that are better told and everyone feels a little better once everything is out in the open.

That’s the case with Kristen Da Silva’s Where You Are, now on stage at the Globus Theatre, just south of Bobcaygeon. It’s a dysfunctional family story where members of the family are asked to keep secrets from other family members. Not a good fit for a family who wants to be close. (Have I said family too much? It is a family play, but I can’t really recommend it for younger members of your family. You might get asked a lot of questions on the way home.)

Glenda, a widow, lives on Manitoulin Island, where she and her late husband took in her sister, Suzanne, when she was pregnant, and helped raise her daughter. Suzanne has returned for a visit. The sisters are waiting for Suzanne’s daughter Beth to join them. Beth, now a doctor in Toronto arrives, but soon sparks between the “smothering” mother and head-strong daughter are ignited. In the meantime, the good-looking young veterinarian who lives next door drops by to do favours for Glenda, in exchange for her delicious homemade jam.

The plot thickens around the secrets that are being kept. Glenda and Suzanne have a dark secret they are keeping from Beth, and in turn, Beth has an important secret she has kept from her mother and aunt. Patrick, the vet who visits regularly, is an innocent bystander who brings his own drama into the picture.

And while this may sound like a drama, the dialogue is peppered with witty one-liners and the laughter rolls in from the audience. There are surprise laugh-out-loud moments spread throughout the two-act show.

Joanne Latimer is Suzanne, the city sister who doesn’t like Glenda’s chickens, especially that big one (which happens to be a rooster). She is convincing as the mother who loves her daughter but just can’t let go of criticisms. My only concern is that she was difficult to hear at times, depending which way she was facing.

Anna Silvija Broks is a favourite at the Globus, appearing as Stella in Meet My Sister in 2022 and then as three characters in Mending Fences in 2023. Both were dysfunctional family stories and she shines as a recognizable character in those, as well as Where You Are, where the plays Glenda. The two are hilarious when they smoke a joint together, and get hilariously stoned. Broks’ facial expressions are reminiscent of a cross between Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett.

Tara Koehler is excellent as the daughter Beth, showing her mother attitude, but also making it obvious that she loves her mother and aunt. Josh Johnston is a delight as the vet: he’s very embarrassed while the older women admire his shirtless body, and very sweet as he becomes interested in Beth. As he checks out Beth’s twisted ankle, she asks for his diagnosis, and he replies “Heartworm”. Beth returns with the comment that his ex-fiancé isn’t very attractive. He’s surprised and asks why she thinks that. Beth describes her as “horsey” looking, to the audience’s laughter.

This is the third show I’ve seen by Canadian playwright and actor Kristen Da Silva, all well written with lots of laughs and clever comebacks. Yet she manages to make the audience think and pulls their heartstrings a little. Beyond the Sea and Hurry Hard are two I’ve enjoyed, and now Where You Are can be added to the list.

Credit goes to Director James Barrett who combines the sweet and sorrowful moments and capitalizes on the comedy. Don’t miss the delicious dinner at the Globus (which was outstanding on opening night) and an opportunity to laugh and grow.

Where You Are continues at the Globus Theatre, Lakeview Arts Barn near Bobcaygeon, until July 13. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 705-738-2037 or 1-800-304-7897 or visit https://www.lakeviewartsbarn.com/globus-current-season

Photo: Anna Silvija Broks as Glenda and Joanne Latimer as Suzanne in Where You Are. Photo by R.A.Bloom Creations & Photography. 

Where You Are
By Kristen Da Silva
Directed by James Barrett
Performed by Anna Silvija Broks, Josh Johnston, Tara Koehler, Joanne Latimer.
Globus Theatre, Lakeview Arts Barn, 2300 Pigeon Lake Rd., Bobcaygeon
July 3 to July 13, 2024
Reviewed by Mary Alderson


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