The Break-Up Diet, by Tamara Williamson
WINNER OF THE 2019 ADAMS AWARD FOR BEST MUSICAL SCRIPT. TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL.
“This story was never meant to leave my bedroom....but it did.”
A unique, deeply personal and emotionally taut auto-biographical theatrical narrative set to music. Musical theatre has never seen anything quite like The Break-Up Diet, a new work from singer/songwriter Tamara Williamson.
Adapted from the soon to be published audiobook and podcast, The Break-Up Diet tells the story of a year in the life of Tamara Williamson as she undergoes a common but nevertheless definingly torturous episode in her life, the ruthlessly fast disintegration of her outwardly perfect marriage. Punctuated by raw guttural songs written by Tamara at the time of the events portrayed, the music is driving alternative rock performed by Tamara and her band, Mrs. Torrance.
Mrs. Torrance was an established presence on the independent Queen West music scene throughout the 1990s, opening for Oasis and signing to a major label just before Napster exploded the business model of the music industry. Mrs. Torrance has reformed adding Sarah Fazackerley a multi instrumented singer song-writer to the mix to provide an incredible musical backdrop (both soundscapes and song performances) to the emotionally devastating and yet ultimately cathartic story of The Break-Up Diet.
Tamara Williamson’s The Break Up Diet is a clever, emotional and intensely personal narrative that takes you, insight by insight; from heart-hollowing suspicions to explosive confrontations to painful introspection; through what is essentially a brilliant musical autopsy of a failed marriage.
It was fresh and fun and emotional.
Nothing like it out there. Loved. Loved. Loved!!!
Your new project is honest, funny and meaningful and takes a lot of guts to present in public. Kudos to you. The standing ovation was well deserved!
Silence Theatre Guelph
Tamara Williamson is both musician and storyteller, a Boadicea of the stage who, in her latest ‘The Break Up Diet’ act, slays the daemons — well, daemon, in fact — of a marriage dissolved with song and narration that in her inimitable, fiery style threatens to light up the room in a rhapsodic moment of beautiful, lyric revenge. This is life transformed into devastating art.
TORONTO NOW MAGAZINE It belongs with Nora Ephron's Heartburn as a great work of art about splitting up.
Toronto Star "like a really good extended Moth Radio Hour story backed by your favourite indie bar band.”
TOP 6 SHOWS TO SEE AT TORONTO FRINGE.
Mooney On Theatre "this is not musical theatre like you would expect. It’s raw and alterna-tive. It sugar coats nothing and it does not tidy itself up for a happy ending."
NOW MAGAZINE REVIEW
GLEN SUMI. TORONTO FRINGE 2019.
The Break-Up Diet is listed as a Fringe musical, but don't come expecting jazz hands. Tamara Williamson's show isn't exactly the-atre – it's more like an autobiographical alt-rock concert. But the tale of infidelity, breakup, denial and recovery (as well as the ensu-ing weight-loss indicated in the title) is still gripping. It belongs with Nora Ephron's Heartburn as a great work of art about splitting up. In nine concise, evocative chapters, Williamson, the lead singer of 90s band Mrs. Torrance (who accompany her here), recounts the end of her 15-year-marriage, punctuating each section with songs that thrash with anger or throb with pain. While living on her farm outside Toronto, Williamson suspects something's wrong with her marriage; then, one night, her husband's casual glance at his cellphone before taking a shower makes her think he may be seeing someone. She investigates and discovers he's been cheating on her with a neighbour. Williamson delivers her wry observations with minimal self-pity and maximum insights. Her be-haviour isn't always pleasant, but she owns up to it with frank honesty. And her music – even casual zigzags on her electric guitar – suggests the range of emotions she's experiencing. While Williamson is solidly backed by drummer Steve Pitkin and bassist Chris Waller, she gets the most support from guitarist Sarah Fazackerley, who occasionally harmonizes and adds snatches of dialogue to evoke an internal voice or conscience. I wish this had been performed in a site-specific venue – perhaps a bar – but Williamson's fierce, vulnerable and inspiring musical confessions would work in any setting.
THE BREAK-UP DIET
AN ALTERNATIVE MUSICAL
April 25 2020 Collingwood Simcoe Street Theatre.
April 26. 2020 Owen sound Heartwood Theatre.
Jan 19 2020 Paradise Theatre Toronto.
APPEARING AT THE TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL JULY 3-14 2019
ROBERT GILL THEATRE. 214 COLLEGE STREET. TORONTO.
Performing 9 SHOWS. https://www.cdtps.utoronto.ca/facilities/robert-gill-theatre
The show run’s for 90 mins.
Narrated by Tamara Williamson and Sara Fazackerley.
Music by Mrs. Torrance.
ALSO AT THE
EDMONTON FRINGE FESTIVAL
AUGUST 21-16 2019
"It was fresh and fun and emotional. Nothing like it out there. Loved. Loved. Loved!!! "
"Your new project is honest, funny and meaningful and takes a lot of guts to present in public. Kudos to you. The standing ovation was well deserved!"
Silence Theatre Guelph
"Tamara Williamson is both musician and storyteller, a Boudica of the stage who, in her latest ‘The Break Up Diet’ act, slays the demons — well, demon, in fact — of a marriage dissolved with song and narration that in her inimitable, fiery style threatens to light up the room in a rhapsodic moment of beautiful, lyric revenge. This is life transformed into devastating art