Mary Lou Martin is not a woman who minces words. If a show is shit, she’ll be the first to tell you. So when she has high praise for something like TheatreSpeak’s production of Allen Cole’s musical farce Mimi (or A Poisoner’s Comedy)—which she is directing—it pays to listen.
“This show is so funny, so energetic and very stylish,” she rhapsodizes. “Plus, it has an incredibly talented group of actors. Just look at the two actresses who star, Kirstin Howell and Karen Myatt. They are very different from one another, but both are amazing actors, singers and comedians.”
When TheatreSpeak learned they had won a week in the studio theatre through Neptune’s Open Spaces program, the original thought was to do another small-cast off-Broadway show like their successful production of [title of show]. But then Allen Cole, who was working with Martin on another project at the time, suggested Mimi. “We thought, ‘Why do off-Broadway when you can do an original Canadian musical?’"
Mimi is based on the true story of the Marquise de Brinvilliers, a spoiled and debauched young noble woman in 17th century France who turns to murder to get her way. It’s billed as a cross between Sweeney Todd and Dangerous Liaisons. “The only way to get her way is to get a few people out of the way,” says Martin with a laugh.
The show premiered at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto in 2009, but this production marks its Atlantic Canadian debut, February 19-23, Neptune Studio Theatre.