Review of L’Amour crisse | Free as art

Tuesday evening, at the Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts, Louise Latraverse delivered the Montreal premiere of her “only one on stage”, Love screams, in front of a loyal and delighted audience. An imperfect show, but overflowing with tenderness. Report.

Posted at 10:04 a.m.

Despite her experience and her rich career, Louise Latraverse still looks like a little girl on stage. At times, we have the impression that the actress is having fun in a playground. A terrain that she has been exploring and continuing to discover… for 60 years.

In this first solo, which she has been practicing for several months, the actress tells us behind the scenes of her life. Through memories, anecdotes (a little too much), beautiful songs, and numerous encounters. These are so numerous that we sometimes have the impression of attending a festival of “ name dropping »: Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Bibi Anderson, Maurice Chevalier, Félix Leclerc, Pierre Bourgault, Denise Bombardier, René Lévesque, Pauline Julien, Michel Tremblay, Clémence DesRochers… The list of people she meets on her path is long.

Over time

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In 90 minutes, Louise Latraverse untangles the tortuous thread of her life.

Unlike his biography published this spring, whose form is fragmented and “non-traditional”, the story of the show is more chronological. From his childhood in Arvida to his initiatory trip to India in 1993. Through his meeting with the author Marcel Dubé, who offered him his first role on television at the age of 20 in The Sandy Coast. It was on this set that she fell in love with Claude Léveillée. She will live “two or three years” with the musician who also loved her… but “less than her piano”.

It continues with the success of Girls, created with her friend Clémence, Chantal Renaud, Paule Bayard and Diane Dufresne. Then tells us about his crazy years in New York, his great and tumultuous love with the father of his son, the writer Emmett Grogan, who died of an overdose in the subway in Brooklyn. A tragic episode that she approaches with modesty.

Then, she returns to the exciting adventure of Quat’Sous with Paul Buissonneau. A theater that she inaugurated and of which she took over management in the early 1980s. To introduce us to Robert Lepage, René Richard Cyr and René-Daniel Dubois. Which she will leave out of breath. Before starting all over again.

In 90 minutes, Louise Latraverse untangles the tortuous thread of a life that is anything but flat. By sometimes getting involved in her text, placed on a lectern, and which she consults during the performance, when her memory fails… At 83, we forgive her. His delivery is at once poetic, sensitive and comic… although not yet mastered. She gets tangled in her words and gets lost in time. However, the actress bounces back thanks to her charisma and her outspokenness. The amused “little girl” is also an unworthy old lady who punctuates her story with strong swear words.

Freedom status

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Louise Latraverse during the recording of an episode of the podcast Just between you and me

For this show, Latraverse surrounded itself with a small team of collaborators: the actress Anick Lemay as text consultant, the composer Christian Thomas for sound design, Pyer Desrochers for careful and silky lighting without forgetting the designer Denis Gagnon for his clothes. Three of his paintings hang above the stage. We would have liked a more elaborate staging, because the whole thing looks a bit like a conference led by a good storyteller.

“The only quest I have had in my life is freedom,” she recently confided to colleague Dominic Tardif, in the podcast Just between you and me. At 83, Louise Latraverse remains a loving, free and marginal woman. If you love this uncompromising artist, or have followed her career for years, Love screams will charm you. Otherwise, the long-term story of this actress risks leaving you indifferent.

Love screams

Love screams

On Quebec tour until January 2025.

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