XOXO (third review)

XOXOTwo-Juliets-KEYpromo-imagePlaywright: Meghan Chalmers & Franny McCabe-Bennett
Director: Franny McCabe-Bennett & Meghan Chalmers
Cast: Meghan Chalmers & Franny McCabe-Bennett

Show Type: Comedy
Audience: General

Performed at Gallery #3: James North Studio

Review by: Anne Bokma

My only complaint about XOXO is that at a spare 25 minutes, it’s far too short. I left the show wanting more. Lots more. More of Meghan Chalmers and Franny McCabe-Bennett¹s zany charm, boundless energy and hilarious insights into the rollercoaster ride of love and relationships.  Whether it was a scene about a  pre-teen game of spin the bottle  or about the pressure to create the perfect online profile, this duo illuminates  how much the search for love is a shot in the dark.  Sometimes you get lucky and hit the bull’s eye and other times you miss the target ‹ over and over again. Not surprisingly, the stories in XOXO fall into the later category ­  but their woeful dating tales make for juicy material.

Chalmers and McCabe-Bennett, who met a few years ago in the theatre program at Humber College, wrote, directed and star in the show and admit that the stories are culled from their own true-life dating experiences. That’s probably why they have such a ring of authenticity about them. Everyone even a midlife long married woman like me ­ can relate to the humanity and humour in their tales. You don¹t have to be twentysomething to love this show. Nor do you have to be a woman. There were plenty of guys in the audience the night I saw the show ­ and they were enjoying themselves thoroughly.

When I approached Chalmers and McCabe-Bennett after the show to tell them how much I enjoyed a particularly hilarious bit about a woman being interviewed by a potential boyfriend’s family,  they mentioned offhandedly that they had improvised the scene the day before and threw it into the show that night. I was impressed. You will be too when you catch this talented pair in action. Despite the vagaries of dating life, one thing¹s for certain, you’ll leave this show with a big smile on your face.

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