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First Metis Man of Odesa Review

The 2 People Play on First Metis Man of Odesa is an absolutely breathtaking and heartwarming 90 minutes performance that leaves audiences completely captivated. Award-winning theatre artists and real-life married couple Matthew MacKenzie and Mariya Khomutova bring their remarkable love story to the stage in a way that is inspiring, and deeply moving. The spoken memoir brings all your senses to visualize life before during and after russian full-scale invasion in Ukraine

Matt and Masha first meet while on a theatre research trip in Kyiv and develop a passionate connection that takes them from the Black Sea to the North Saskatchewan River.  During the peak of the lockdown in 2021, a radio play version of the story was presented at Factory Theatre, written by MacKenzie and directed by Nina Lee Aquino. Now, in March, the live on-stage debut of First Métis Man of Odesa offers a continuation of the story from the radio play.  The play delves into their personal journey from Odesa, Ukraine to Edmonton, Alberta with stops in Toronto, Ontario, navigating the complexities of a pandemic and an invasion. The love story is both unique and universal, touching on themes of passion, resilience, resistance and the impact of war on personal lives. Through their intimate perspectives on the war in Ukraine, they showcase the importance of human connection and the power of love to overcome even the most challenging circumstances.

The chemistry between MacKenzie and Khomutova is absolutely electric, and their genuine love and admiration for each other shines through every moment of the performance. At multiple points the audience had a hard time to stop tears, as the lights and scenery in seconds transforms from night walk near Odesa opera theater to listening sirens and seeing devastation of war. Their storytelling is raw, authentic, and incredibly engaging, drawing the audience in and keeping them hooked until the very end.

There are multiple reasons for attending the 2 People Play on First Metis Man of Odesa :

  • It highlights the power of art to bring people together and foster empathy. Through their personal story, MacKenzie and Khomutova show us that despite our differences, we all share a common humanity and a desire for love, connection, and belonging.
  • It sheds light on the ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on ordinary people. The play offers a unique perspective on a complex geopolitical situation and humanizes the experiences of those caught in the crossfire while strongly condemning actions of russian invaders.
  • It showcases the talent of two incredible theatre artists. MacKenzie and Khomutova are both award-winning performers with years of experience, and their skill and passion are on full display in this production.
  • It provides a much-needed dose of hope and inspiration. In a time of uncertainty and anxiety, the play reminds us that love and resilience can overcome even the most challenging circumstances.
  • It encourages us to reflect on our own relationships and the importance of connection in our lives. By sharing their own love story, MacKenzie and Khomutova inspire us to cherish the people we love and to seek out connection and community wherever we can find it.

The 2 People Play on First Metis Man of Odesa is an absolute must-see for anyone looking for a heartwarming, uplifting, and deeply meaningful emotional theatre experience. MacKenzie and Khomutova are true masters of their craft, and their performance is a testament to the power of love, hope, and human connection in the face of adversity.

Following the world premiere March 16-25 in Kamloops, BC, First Métis Man of Odesa will appear at the Theater Center March 30-April 8 in Toronto, Citadel Theatre April 22-May 13 in Edmonton, The Cultch May 25-June 4 in Vancouver. Castanet and CFJC offer short interviews with Mariya and Matthew

Unforgettable evening with Stand with Ukraine family in Kamloops meeting Matthew and Mariya

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