Meet My Sister
Magnus’s Season Opens with a Warm Hug of a Play
Review by Taylor Onski, Photos by Matthew Goertz
When I first heard the premise of Bonnie Green’s Meet My Sister, I expected a dramedy about dementia. Having lost my maternal grandmother to dementia in 2022 and helping my paternal grandmother navigate it, with her being in a long-term care home, I was nervous to see this show. But Meet My Sister lives up to Magnus Theatre artistic director Thom Currie’s motto that audiences will get a new experience each time they walk into the theatre. This charming and honest story gave me that new experience of both an escape from the reality of watching a loved one go through dementia and a comedic play telling me that I am not alone. While the overall structure is akin to Dock Spider (two contrasting people stuck in a small space trying to navigate a relationship with each other and a third party), Meet My Sister simply showcases what Green’s writing does best—make people laugh, think, and enjoy some chaos. From concluding that owls are better messengers than postcards, puns, and lines such as “my ears are pulsing” and “materialism…ew,” Green’s dialogue is another character in and of itself, where you just cannot wait to hear what comes next. Amy Sellors and Suzanne McKenney as sisters Blanche and Stella respectively worked magic on the summer stage. Blanche is home with her mom and works in the city. Stella, who is coming from B.C., relies on a spiritual advisor, and knows when Mercury is in retrograde. Needless to say, these sisters could not be further apart. Nevertheless, when Sellors and McKenney are onstage, it’s like watching Venus and Serena play tennis— the tennis ball being Green’s witty dialogue that goes back and forth between the actors, while your head bops back and forth between the two as they trade shots about who is the favourite child and getting certain heirlooms. Lila Cano voices the mother character, who hides inside her locked room to avoid being moved to Pleasant Poplars, an assisted living facility, after a stroke and worsening dementia. Even though we do not see her, Cano captures the god-like strength of a mom’s voice that commands the attention of her children and audience. Stephen Sparks as Sly, Blanche’s high school crush, mixes perfectly with Sellors and McKenney as his quips and ideas bring a lot of laughs and he delivers the “oh my gosh” moments to full effect. Meet My Sister focuses on the relationships between loved ones and the elephant in the room of dementia in such a way that I left knowing that no matter what dementia does, there will always be someone there to help those affected by it.