Sink or Swim - Boomer-centric

Sharing an audience with Stuart MacLean's Vinyl Cafe crowd, Elliott's homage to a semi-rural Ontario childhood nostalgia-fest is a sure-fire crowd pleaser for anyone from the generation prior to the last three letters of the alphabet. This musical and moving image performance is a confident, well performed and very personal visit to a past that is comforting to the intended audience and likely quite foreign to anyone born after 1970. The subject matter and imagery described and shown is both familiar and nostalgic. The reminiscences are important to recognize, as history informs who we are, even as emotionally reliving this past is a dangerous game, increasingly divisive in a world unimaginably different to the world that Elliott details in brilliantly delivered song and keyboard accompaniment.

If live entertainment serves to inform, enlighten, and elevate the intended audience, then this show is a fine example of the craft. With one caveat; nostalgia is a dangerous drug. In the abstract, there are themes that directly relate to the present. Changing homes, changing schools, maneuvering through arcane and irrational power structures, and finding one’s niche in society are all relevant, but from the perspective of a half-century of cultural drift, the details might be as elusive as Shakespeare to a newer audience.

A solid, professional show, with heart and quality; Elliott has created a paean to a time when things seemed simpler, cleaner, and easier to solve. Delightful as a warm memory, which rapidly cools as we wake.

By Bruce M. Campbell