REVIEW: Josephine, in concert

Harris’s Baker is an incredibly dialled-in mix of brio and nuance.

By Paul Blinov

Josephine Baker’s incredible life—A Black American entertainer who became the toast of Paris, a WWII spy, and a civil rights activist, all while leaving a trail of ex-husbands in her wake—gets a lively telling in Dynamite Lunchbox’s Josephine, in concert.

Backed by a live three-piece band, writer-performer Tymisha Harris takes us through the arc of Baker’s life with monologue, songs, and dance. Harris’s Baker is an incredibly dialled-in mix of brio and nuance: she commands the massive Garneau Theatre, even from the nosebleeds, whether monologuing through a costume change, or getting an audience member to clasp her bra, or simply adjusting her pose. It feels lived as much as told: If it wasn’t a story from a different era, you’d swear Baker was in the room, telling it all herself.

This show’s been a hit here before, and there are just two performances all Fringe long. Judging by the minutes-long standing ovation from the mostly full Garneau on Saturday, competition for the remaining tickets might be fierce.


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