St. Leonard Chronicles was a play that took you on an unsuspecting emotional roller coaster. It could change from funny, to sad, to angry, to evoking deep thoughts about life and death…and all in the span of about ten minutes. The play is centered on a family debating about life in Montreal and the stereotypes they are trapped in by their heritage and birthplace. But the best part is, when you least suspect it, the play throws out even deeper ideas of life, death, the importance of one’s own family, and if we truly are destined to become our parents.
The play focuses on two different families joined by the marriage of their children, Dante and Elisa. Things get very heated as the families’ debate their own heritage, lost affairs, and of course ravioli. Honestly, I don’t want to spoil anything because I think the play is well worth a watch. But even more than Canadian stereotypes, the characters in the play hit a specific cord for those Italian-Canadians living in Montreal, and more specifically the St. Leonard district. Can we choose our fate, or is it chosen for us? What is your own family truly worth to you?
You have to give the play credit in that regard. Though thought provoking, the play is not without its lightheartedness. When Elisa threw the first pot of fresh ravioli into the trash, an audible gasp was heard from half the audience, along with the confused look of others. Even when the saddest event in the play has happened, humor is thrown in and catches you off guard in a good way. You could have watery eyes and still manage to have a good laugh. By the end of the play you’ll leave the Centaur Theater with many preconceived notions about Canadian culture, family, and life possibly changed forever.