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Levels the Play Poster.jpg

by CJ Jura and Abby Grass

Final exam question: what do you get when you add six friends in grade twelve, trying to find their identities, a date to prom, and a college program, plus a healthy dose of music, Shakespeare, and voguing? You get Levels the Play! An excellent play with music created and directed by Abby Grass and Clarence (CJ) Jura, Levels the Play delves into the difficult but very real issues facing today’s youth.

While dealing with very heavy and adult material at times, Levels the Play shows the reality of the breadth of issues facing today’s youth. The discussion around sexuality, gender identity, and sexual assault are handled with care by the writers and performers. However, seeing these issues discussed, particularly in the context of young adults, is extremely important and I commend the creators on tackling these subjects. All of this is juxtaposed with the delightful performances in the play; the musical numbers are great fun, and provide the perfect balance for the play.

Levels the Play boasts a wildly talented cast of young artists: Nadia Casandra, Tavaree Daniel-Simms, Annelise Forbes, Luca McPhee, Isaiah Nembhard, Chris Otchere. Throughout the play we see what true triple-threats they are! Chris Otchere’s ballroom performance during the piece is definitely a highlight for me, as well as the history given about the ballroom scene and its importance to queer culture.

Levels the Play is joyful, real, and heartwarming. I highly recommend seeing it during Fringe. And if you love the original music for the piece, like I do, you can download the album on your favourite streaming platform!


A VIEW FROM THE BOX, July 7, 2023.

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