Review: Talofa Papa
Posted on: Sun 24 Feb 2019
Writing a review for Talofa Papa is difficult, because for me to write about the show is to write about myself. This is the kind of show that gives you back what you put into it.
A lovingly crafted show, the concept of Talofa Papa is simple. Kasiano Mita, for the hour, is your Samoan grandfather. I admit ignorance, but the show has been put together in a way that ignorance is no failure of the audience; you’ll get a crash course in a little Samoan, and Kasiano (as your grandfather) will walk you through it all.
While it seems simple, that simplicity is a deception. This is the kind of show that has a lot of work in it that you can’t see, a lot of thought you might not consider, and a hell of a lot of love. Even though I saw the show with a largely reticent audience, Kasiano brought us out of our shell. Not in any confrontational way, but in a playful and loving way.
My personal experience of the show is not going to be your experience of the show. Your relationship to your grandparents, your experience of family, and your willingness to be a part of this new one – all of these inform your theatre experience. I doubt any two shows are exactly the same experience. You might get a lot out of it, but you might not.
When you see Talofa Papa, go with some people you love, go in with an open heart and an open mind. Be curious. Give as much as you get, and you might have an incredible theatre experience.
By Mark Tripodi