I feel a little bad telling you about how much I enjoyed Aboriginal playwright Daniel David Moses’ Almighty Voice and His Wife. Unfortunately, as part of the jam-packed Prismatic Festival, the play only had two shows, so you won’t get to see it unless it returns to Halifax at some point. The story (which is stylistically so different in its two acts that it’s actually more like two plays) is moving, disturbing, funny, confounding and beautiful. It‘s about a young Cree named Almighty Voice who became a folk hero when he was hunted and killed by the North-West Mounted Police in the late 1800’s for killing a cow. In Act 1, we see Almighty Voice (the terrific Derek Garza) court and marry a young girl named White Girl (beautifully played by Paula Jean Prudat).The story, which includes their flight from the law and the birth of their son, is told from White Girl’s memory, and it’s tinged with sadness and dread as it begins with the tragic ending already known. Act 2 is told as a kind of burlesque show done in whiteface that is enacted by Almighty Voice and White Girl (as a British-accented master of ceremonies) from beyond the grave. It’s jarring, offensive, funny and ultimately uplifting.
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