Review: Songs and stories of Davy the Punk

Meaghan Flaherty

Using folk music and storytelling methods, Songs and Stories of Davy the Punk tells the story of Davy Bossin, a notorious “bookie’s Bookie” in the Toronto horse races in the 30’s. Davy is also writer and performer Bob Bossin’s father, whose life was always a mystery to him. While it is evident that Bossin is extremely passionate about his story and the mystery that he solved of his father’s life, this show just didn’t do it for me, as much as I wanted it to.

With a very simple set spread out in a large space that was minimally used, Bossin will display pictures of the setting he’s describing or the people he’s talking about, rather than using his words to paint the picture. The picture is just right there in our faces, and it thus turns the show into more of a formally narrated slideshow instead of a theatrical piece. Bossin will also switch between characters by changing his voice only slightly or putting on a hat, rendering the crescendos in the story useless; the whole show is very monotone. Bossin also lacks comedic timing, leading to some of his very witty writing being lost on the audience as we are either given no time to process, or too much time to do so.

The story itself was sweet and heartwarming, but difficult to follow at times because of the timing of the show, lack of rhythm in the script, and lack of vocal range to create suspense. My favorite part of the show by far is the music. Bossin’s songs are catchy, easy to follow and very well performed. If only the storytelling and dramaturgy were at the level of the musical ability, then this show would be a delight.

 

Written and performed by Bob Bossin

Directed by Simon Webb

With additional direction by Susinn McFarlen

Playing at the ODD