(Photo: Melissa Blackall)
The setting of Lauren Yee’s A Man, His Wife, and His Hat is unknown. Looking at the actual set of The Hub Theatre production, one might guess that it takes place in the 80s based upon the telephone and television. The dialects and accents hint that it takes place somewhere in old Europe where hat-making is still a feasible profession. The overall feel of the show reminds me of the fictional land of Mypos from Perfect Strangers. It wouldn’t have surprised me if Balki Bartokomous burst through the door to the tunes of Jesse Frederick’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now.
The foreign land, the somewhat distant past, and the physics that are meta in both scientific and poetic terms come together to form a fairy-tale world. In Yee’s universe golems live underneath your floorboards, memories are kept in glass jars, and all-knowing walls possess the secrets of the world on printed pages.
Yee’s story, with direction from Shirley Serotsky, is a whimsical one — with a message of love that’s heartwarming yet not too sugar-coated.