Playing until March 19th at The Cultch Historic Theatre, My Little Tomato is a co-production with Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (vAct) and Zee Zee Theatre in association with rice & beans theatre.
While the overall premise of My Little Tomato is a boy-meets-boy rom-com, writer Rick Tae and director Cameron Mackenzie along with the two leads Nelson Wong and Taylor Kare, have crafted a fun, new take on the timeless story, adding a surreal dream-like overlay to the tale of love, lust, culture and race.
My Little Tomato finds Chinese-Canadian primary-teacher Keaton Chu (Wong) wallowing in grief, having just lost his parents in a car accident, and being suddenly thrust into running the family farm. Along comes Japanese-Irish-Canadian produce buyer, Joe McKinley (Kare), who’s parents, a domineering Irish mother and an absent Japanese father, linger large in his thoughts. With all the bravado and confidence of a 25 year old, Joe bolding comes on to Keaton, drawing him out of his date-less comfort zone. As the duo dip their toes into this new relationship, their preconceptions and their insecurities (aided by a few cocktails) play with their minds and provide them each with an imaginary “support-produce”, played with flair by Shay Dior, who breaks the 4th-wall as they help the pair navigate the orchard of love.
While the play is a quick 75-80 minutes (no intermission), it packs a whole lot of entertainment, laughter and thought. With Wong and Kare in nearly every moment, they brilliantly lay bare their emotions (and some skin) while giving us plenty of comedy to go along with the romance. Rick Tae’s script deftly touches on perceptions and realities of Asian and mixed-Asian race and culture, especially when it comes to dating, parental and personal expectations. Sophie Tang’s creative set leaves much to the audience’s imagination, and the actors’ skill, to come up with venues and locations. It’s always refreshing to see ourselves represented in media, and judging from the audiences’ reaction to the work, everyone found something to enjoy.
Find the love and laughter for yourself as My Little Tomato plays at The Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street, until March 19th. Show details and tickets available at thecultch.com