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Theatre Review: Bo-Nita at Urbanite Theatre

April 13, 2017

 

 

Bo-Nita is energy, creativity, hilarity, and isn’t she incredible. Tonight, I was fortunate enough to see the bizarrely funny one-woman show Bo-Nita at Urbanite Theatre.

 

Written by playwright Elizabeth Heffron, Bo-Nita bursts into the scene like a firecracker, telling us about the precarious situation she put herself in. After a fight with her mother’s ex-boyfriend, Gerard, he ends up on the floor suffering from a heart attack. This sets into motion a wild chase through the back streets of St. Louis, complete with fishnets and Planetariums.

 

Terri Weagant as Bo-Nita | Photo by Don Daly

 

Terri Weagant, who plays Bo-Nita, made the show, taking us on this truly wild ride. She plays six other characters in this play; from the liquor-induced mother Mona, to the 1/8 Cajun behemoth that is Gerard, to Tina, the belly-dancing granny. Terri slips back and forth from these characters with such ease and intensity, and at the same time, makes us fall in love with the unforgettable Bo-Nita.

 

While this show was full of great one-liners and comical stories, Heffron really hits home about Middle American families, like Bo-Nita’s, and the difficulties they face. From addiction to prison, unemployment to poverty; these larger than life characters, held back by these real-life barriers, are cemented into what is viewed as a “white-trash” lifestyle in our society. Bo-Nita faces a lot of physical abuse, turning into emotional trauma that causes her to last out. These highly stylized moments took you off guard and made you uncomfortable, while pulling you into her struggle.

 

However, despite the obstacles she faces, Bo-Nita carries on like Gerard taught her to, by marching to the beat of her own drum. Bo-Nita attempts to break down these stereotypes, portraying this blue-collar family as regular people trying to better themselves and provide for their family, so why should we pass judgement? We all have our own rhythm; the challenge is to find it. Bo-Nita certainly did.

 

Terri Weagant as Bo-Nita | Photo by Don Daly

 

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