Millenium Malcontent, Tarragon Theatre

Liz Peterson as Moxy knows lasting theatre impressions go far beyond words and emotion in Tarragon Theatre’s off the wall presentation of The Millennial Malcontent.


The trouble with being young is that you think you’ve got it all figured out way ahead of everyone else.  And when the years start coming–and they don’t stop coming—you oddly catch yourself asking ‘Whaaaaaat was I thinking?’

This same rude awakening may be in store for the characters sassing it up in Tarragon’s spring stage fling where eight Generation Y performers making their Bridgman Avenue debut have a lot to smile about.

Just to be clear, The Millennial Malcontent is not so much about a generation specifically but rather a particular close knit group of 20-somethings living a life far less complicated life than the rest of us. Or are they?

Within the story frame is a whole lot of talk about not much at all. Like Rolling Stone oldie Mick Jagger, they just can’t get no satisfaction which proves the point that restlessness is an ageless demographic issue.  Only the hot topics have changed!

Moxy (Liz Peterson) is a union resister with bigger priorities than her dead weight better half, Johnny (Reza Sholeh), who truly can do her no harm. His unpaid internship doesn’t position him the household breadwinner but if she doesn’t watch herself, she may end up pushing the best thing in her life straight into the arms of another.

One assumes that Erin Shields attempts to put marriage under a microscope for a deeper investigation of meaning to its present day inheritors.  Yet the playwright quickly detours from this assumption to take a long view of the excessively educated and technologically consumed for a comical cruise on love, expectations, happiness and, of course, sexuality.

Not only is it light and fluffy, it’s surprisingly curious how many scenes sparkle with misanthropic tones of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

It’s rare not to enjoy a piece Peter Hinton gets into his hands for distinct directorial crafting and this time he doesn’t disappoint with digital visuals to anchor his Tarragon newbies in a play designed purely for fun.

While Frank Cox-O’Connell deserves a loud and proud shout out for his ‘master of self-humiliation’ incarnation, it’s a dramatically keen Liz Peterson who has the most indelible effect in her portrayal of a romantically challenged antagonist who just may get a second chance.


THE MILLENNIAL MALCONTENT by Erin Shields February 28 – April 9, 2017 TARRAGON THEATRE, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto TICKETS $29.00 – $65.00 416-531-1827 CAST  Frank Cox O’Connell, James Daly, Rong Fu, Natasha Mumba, Liz Peterson Amelia Sargisson, Reza Sholeh and Dee Waboso DIRECTOR Peter Hinton SET & COSTUMES Joanna Yu LIGHTING Jennifer Lennon PROJECTION DESIGNER Howard Dennis

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