IT'S ALL ABOUT ME
nytheatre.com review by Jaene Leonard
Until you learn to humiliate yourself, you’ll never work in The Theatre.
This was the pearl of wisdom handed down from the only acting teacher
Tonya Canada ever had—during a class she took so she wouldn’t talk fast
at work. Despite swearing off theatre games and animal exercises, here
she is in her own show at the Theatre for the New City Cabaret. It’s
All About Me is a 45-minute one-woman yarn about the events which
led her from Oregon to Yale to New York City, and her constant struggle
to both pursue her art and pay her bills. And, despite the proselytizing
teacher’s wariness, Canada is quite comfortable—and engaging—on the
August 15, 2002
The most colorful stories are those that come from Canada’s stint as a Portland Oregon Rose Festival Princess—one of eleven high-school girls regularly pimped out as a novelty act during the summer jamboree. These stories, punctuated with projected slides, paint the picture of a young girl who enjoys being part of the show, especially to the tune of sharing Pepsi with handsome famous people like Richard Dean Anderson ("MacGyver") in tight jeans and Ray Bans.
I have to admit I wanted to know more—more about the illuminated dress that hangs on the stage, more about Canada’s years at Yale, and more juicy details about the date she had with Robert DeNiro (Bob). But Canada’s teacher would be proud. In addition to her storytelling skills, Canada and her director seem to have learned one of the hardest tricks of the trade: how to leave ‘em wanting more.