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Incels, Money Scams, and Girls Like That at Tarragon Theatre

/By / May 1, 2018

Nappoholics Anonymous is a weekly column featuring twelve random thoughts by actor Tony Nappo. Some are funny, some are poignant, some bother him, and some make him weep from sadness while others make him weep for joy. Here are his thoughts: unfiltered, uncensored, and only occasionally unsafe for work.

1. If you are involuntarily celibate and your solution is to murder random strangers, just do the world a favour and shoot yourself in the head instead. In terms of solving your celibacy issues, the results will be exactly the same.

2. This Toronto artist, Stephen Chmilar (@stevechmilar), used to be Kate’s next door neighbour. I love the sense of movement and story in this pieces. His use of darkness and light sometimes reminds me of Pieter Bruegel’s epic canvases. But it is his attention to and execution of detail that most excites me about what he does. 


4. That last period of the Boston-Toronto series looked like a father-son peewee game where the dads were all ex–pro hockey players who resented having to be there and could not care less about their sons’ future self-esteem.

5. Retweet of the Week

6. That’s like me asking if I look like a guy who needs a veal sandwich. I may not NEED one but, just by looking at me, you can tell it’s only a matter of time until I’m having one.

7. Top 5 Toronto Theatre-Actor Pop Songs

5- Akin Breaky Heart

4- I Will Always Love Yoon

3- Mac the Fyfe

2- Dan Lett the Sun Go Down on Me

1- Here’s to You Karen Robinson

8. Cliff Saunders as William Hurt in The Outsiders.

9. Can’t wait to see her next move.

10. Flyer of the Week


11. I’m not opposed to the Dora gender-neutral category changes. But I do have a small criticism. Unless I have it wrong, fewer awards will be given out and fewer people will be nominated.

It’s not like winning the award really means anything, anyway. Any acting award, I mean—not just the Doras. I have just always seen it as an evening to celebrate our community. Now there will be fewer nominees and winners to celebrate. Just a thought.

12. SPOILER ALERT: If you are in Girls Like That and don’t read reviews, don’t read this.

The last thing I wanted to do on Saturday was spend an hour and a half with seven entitled private school teenage girls, but I thought Girls Like That, playing at the Tarragon, would be a good show for my thirteen-year-old daughter. What I saw was an incredible exploration of the female teen herd mentality and how cruel women can be to each other, as well as an examination of some of the many contributing factors that shape this behaviour. It is a very nuanced, intelligently written piece, wonderfully acted by all of the young cast and staged clearly and dynamically by director Esther Jun.

For the Globe to give it a half-star review is not only bullshit but completely irresponsible journalism. I’ve been doing and watching theatre for about twenty-five years in Toronto and I will confidently say that, by general standards, this is a four-star show at best and a three-star show at worst. I’d give it a four-star rating, personally—and I fucking hate direct address theatre which is probably 80 percent of this show. The Guardian’s review of the show (different production, obviously) was four stars and focused mostly on the script itself, as the Globe review did. What could possibly account for the Globe’s hack job, you ask? It seems the reviewer took issue with the fact that the play was written by a man.

Every single other person involved in the production is female. The director, entire cast, assistant director, stage manager, fight director, dialect coach, lighting, set and costume designers, choreographer, production manager, set and props painter. I saw it with my teenage daughter, presumably the target demographic for this show, who found it to ring absolutely true to life. The thing I am concerned with isn’t the reviewer’s opinion, because who gives a partial fuck what any reviewer thinks about any one given show—it’s just one opinion, which they are all absolutely entitled to—but I fear the ramifications may go beyond the review itself, especially in the present sexual political climate. If the message sent, whether intended or not, is that men are not allowed to write about women anymore without being entirely dismissed and derided no matter how true the material rings, the risk is that they may just stop writing for them altogether. Will that result in more female playwrights being produced? It’s possible but highly unlikely. What is more likely is that there will just be fewer plays and parts written for women by male playwrights, which is the direct opposite of a big part of what we have all been fighting and continue to fight for.

Tony Nappo

Tony Nappo

Tony is Italian, he’s from Scarborough, he’s an actor, he’s a father, he’s a really good house painter, and he doesn’t believe that most things matter, ultimately, at all.



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