Thank you Winnipeg.

After a successful run at the Winnpeg Fringe, The Big Oops heads to the Edmonton Fringe.  I’m looking forward to performing the show again.  Here’s what the critics in Winnipeg had to say about the show:

Sammi Sam (Cara Yeates) is a cheery pigtailed kid’s entertainer, with a sock puppet boyfriend and a great life, who dreams of one day becoming the next Raffi. In Sam’s line of work everything is about lessons (“graffiti is for lower-class miscreants” and “hippies don’t pay taxes”) — and bouncy songs to go along. Even though Sam likes to play by the rules, she makes a mistake — and a pretty big one at that. While following the format of “lessons of the day” and “learning, yay!” Sam steers through her big oops and tackles grown up stuff in a way that’s educational (“Did you know that a condom can hold six litres of fluid? That’s a lot of semen!”). Yeates is funny, charming and a fine actor, too. – Julijana Capone


Do children’s performers really act so peppy all the time? Sammi Sam does. In fact, her performing life is indistinguishable from life at home with her boyfriend Ben, who is very convincingly played by a sock puppet. Cara Yeates is bubbly perfection in Brendan McLeod’s play, which was directed by TJ Dawe. But all can’t stay happy in Sammi Sam’s world. As we go to the Destination of the Day, learn in Science Time and do Vocabulary words, her two lives start to clash. A message for kids about how stealing is wrong is juxtaposed with one that is more grown up – the importance of using condoms. Watching Yeates take her character through the evolution is both funny and touching, especially when her accompanying cheery soundtrack gets in the way of a tough decision.  –Anna Lazowski

The Winnipeg Free Press – FOUR STARS!

Children’s entertainer Sammi Sam could charm the birds out of the trees. Her singsong mantra is “Yay to life, yay to fun, yay to everything under the sun.”

But when a grown-up boo-boo pierces the façade of her perfect life, the pig-tailed people-pleaser is forced to put on her big-girl panties and finally learn how to put her own needs first. Vancouverite Cara Yeates is irresistible as the star of this not-so-innocent kiddies’ show, which uses Sesame Street conventions (live-in boyfriend, Ben, is portrayed by a sock puppet, and there’s a musical teaching moment about condoms) to tackle complex social mores.

Make no mistake about it: The Big Oops (directed by fringe superstar TJ Dawe) is unabashed fun and full of life, but it’s also a pregnant pause that delivers a surprising amount of poignancy. –Carolin Vesely

The Jenny Revue

Cara Yeates is back in town! She brought us the wonderful Knee Deep in Muck and Bye Bye Bombay, both of which I loved, especially Muck. This rapidly rising star in the theatre world has Fringe god T.J. Dawe directing this play written by the Fugitives’ Brendan McLeod.

As kids entertainer Sammi Sam, she uses her singing and dancing talents, and the audience joins in, too. The contrast between her squeaky-clean Sammi side, and her real life—kinky sex in the bathroom with her fertile, wannabe, filmmaker boyfriend, and real weighty adult dilemmas—is the crux of this play.  All this backed by quirky children’s repetitive soundtrack punctuations to all the meaty material. Go see it and keep an eye out for Cara in the future. – Lisa Campbell


~ by carayeates on July 27, 2010.

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