NGGRFG

Berend McKenzie

Brownbox Theatre

theSpace on the Mile

From 03 August 2012 to 18 August 2012

Rating: ***

Review by Catherine Lamm

Buddy wants to be liked and accepted. But he feels that he has two strikes against him; he’s black and gay. Okay, three strikes; he’s not very black. Okay, four strikes; he wants to be an actor. Okay, five; he’s Canadian. Also, he’s adopted—by a white family. You can work out what the NGGRFG stand for.

Berend McKenzie has written and portrays a very young Buddy on a schoolyard and the more grown-up Buddy, asking his favorite gal-pal to go to an important party with him. Because his “gay” ends up showing at the party, he is banned by the student council from coming into the school. Being careful not to go too far out on a limb, writer-performer McKenzie wears his sexual orientation on his sleeve, so to speak.

Director Denis Simpson keeps up the pace and McKenzie makes it feel real and his own. But McKenzie has written this play about being black and gay and adopted and an actor—one hopes that it’s autobiographical. You can’t make this up and be believed.