Want a hotter boyfriend and better sex? Dip into the fountain of youth.
“Choose to Change” is the cultish mantra in The Seminar: Breakthrough! Back in 2011 Poiema Productions produced The Seminar, a brilliant attack on cosmetic surgery and the lengths people go to reshape their body. In their follow-up, the four-woman troupe's satirical comedy focuses on the total image – how the beauty industry destroys a woman's outlook and confidence to sell its products. The one-hour seminar is set up in a television studio where we, the live audience, are privy to the on-air salesmanship and off-air backstabbing.
St. Albert Children's Theatre instructor Candice Fiorentino is the slick host selling a perfect transformation to Becky (Sara Vickruk), a doe-eyed engineer who is all too ready to swallow false promises. Melissa Blackwood is Dr. Veracity Jones, a questionable plastic surgeon with a Vanna White smile and a Kim Kardashian butt. The quartet's final beauty cheerleader is Brianna Jang as Macy Grant, a human relations expert with emotional-psychological issues. Reminiscent of a fiery preacher, Fiorentino is delightful as the pushy frontwoman slinging her pat slogans. Jang completely charms as a ditz who is given less credit than she deserves while Blackwood's curvy figure and shining white choppers dazzle the audience. Special kudos to Vickruck whose naïve character is the perfect foil to the other three piranhas circling her.
Poiema does an excellent job of skewering the insanity of extremes in both the beauty industry and the media that continues to partner with it.