The Song of Bernadette Jones
By Maura Campbell
The 2018 Fresh Fruit Festival
The Wild Project, 195 East 3rd Street
Review by Justin Cheang
The Song of Bernadette Jones is a mythical tale of about a journey of magical experiences ranging from meeting people from the distant past, to summoning spirits with a Ouija board! A comical story of a young girl named Carolyn trying to right her wrongs for what she had done in her past. Carolyn and her sister originate from Alaska and move away to continue their lives elsewhere. There, they meet Robert, a Jewish young boy who helps Carolyn to rewrite the past and to help change history as they know it.
Tom Hayes who plays Robert in the play absolutely nails the quirky and nerdy characteristics that Robert is supposed to truly have. Robert is an absolute wreck in most scenarios and makes this lovely play incredibly hilarious with his clumsy and awkward personality. His vast intelligence was made useful throughout the journey and him and Carolyn embarked on and evolve throughout the entire journey. With his comedic twist to the show, it was incredible, and was a genuine delight to watch due to his quirky twists to the character.
However, with the constant switching of characters between Mary, Bernadette, and Jennifer Jones, it gets a tad confusing. With the only difference between characters being wardrobe, it was hard to follow which character was being portrayed by what when history was being “re-written” by Carolyn and Robert while tampering with the Ouija board and putting the spirit of Bernadette at ease. While the show was incredibly heartwarming and enjoyable to watch, the constant swapping of characters doesn’t exactly pull you in when watching.
Overall, this production has had its ups and downs, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is enjoyable to watch.