Last night I saw a play and it made me laugh and it made me cry – I loved it.
The play was called Mustard, and it premiered at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. Purchasing the five-play subscription pack for the 2015/2016 season at Tarragon is one of the best purchases I’ve made since moving downtown three years ago– I wish I’d known about the theatre and this deal sooner.
The play is centred around a teenaged girl named Thai, her mother, and her imaginary friend, Mustard. Mustard wears a jester costume and is quick to laugh and crack a joke; he is fiercely loyal to Thai and is determined to be her best friend and support her no matter what, despite the fact that she is far beyond her childhood years and imaginary friends are no longer considered socially acceptable. Mustard also has an uncanny resemblance to Thai’s father (who walked out on the family when she was a child).
As the story progresses, we learn that there are consequences for keeping an imaginary friend so long in our world – dark consequences for both Mustard and Thai. We also learn more about Thai’s family life, Mustard’s magical world of imaginary friends (and foes), and are reminded that growing up sometimes requires us to make tough choices.
I see Mustard as a story of true love – between two best friends, and between mother and daughter. It’s also a coming-of-age tale and a story of transition for all of the characters involved.
I was in tears by the end of the play, and I was not the only one.
I don’t know if the ending of this play was happy or sad (it was rather ambiguous), but I do know that I would highly recommend Mustard to any and every one with a heart and an imagination.
Mustard runs until March 13, 2016 in the Extraspace at Tarragon Theatre.