On February. 14th, 2017, a friend of mine (Sabrina) invited me to see Kim’s Convenience – Live at the Young Centre for Performing Arts in the Distillery District of Toronto. This review will not only review the play itself, but will also cover before and after events. Note that the play was scheduled for 8:00pm.
*this blog is a no spoiler zone*
Sabrina and I had gotten to the Distillery District at approximately 7:20pm. Toronto’s light festival was in full effect, but we were hoping to get our hands on a pair of rush tickets, so we had to get to the theatre ASAP. We figured we would catch the light festival after the show, as it was scheduled to be running until 11:00pm.
The architectural design of the Young Centre for Performing Arts is absolutely beautiful. From the outside, it looks like a building that belongs in the vintage-looking Distillery District, all while maintaining a modern finish. Once entering a pair of two wooden/glass windowed doors, we were welcomed with wooden tables and chairs, a fireplace, a bar, and of course the box office.
The building was alive. Bartenders graciously pouring drinks for guests, couples enjoying their valentines day night out- as soon as I walked in I felt full of energy and anticipation, hoping to get our hands on tickets to watch the highly spoken upon play turned T.V. show, Kim’s Convenience.
We made our way to the box office and spoke to a very sweet lady. She told us she had 2 tickets but unfortunately they weren’t beside each other. Rekindling our hope, she tells us to have a seat on a bench by her place of work because if seats do open up, she would be glad to give them to us. Just about 5 minutes later, she told us she had 2 tickets for us. And just like that, we were ticket owners to Kim’s Convenience – February. 14th, 2017 @ 8:00pm.
Sabrina so kindly treated me to a bloody orange San Pellegrino, and thereafter- we made our way to the theatre. I would like to add that the bartending was superb.
Walking into the Michael Young Theatre is no joke. It felt as if I was in the basement of the CIA, about to enter a highly classified training centre for AI of some sort. As we entered the seating area we were welcomed by a crew member and directed to our seats.
Before the play even began, production was in full effect. It was as if the producer was attempting to feed the audience with the context in which the play was to be acted in. We heard cars, horns, & people- a city vibe. The lights eventually dimmed, and the show began.
First off, I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Kim’s Convenience. The play consisted of only 5 actors/actresses, yet had 7 characters- which impressed a new-to-theatre audience member like myself.
Kim’s Convenience did a magnificent job demonstrating the tug of war that immigrant parents experience with their children as they become adults. After mothers and fathers give up their lives from wherever they are from and move to Canada to raise children, the reality is that many realize that maybe the move wasn’t worth it. That’s all I would say about the play’s content as this is a no spoiler zone (watch the play!).
Apart from the serious matters of the play, where I found myself really feeling for all of the characters- I laughed and laughed, and I wouldn’t say I laugh easy, so the comedic delivery was masterful (probably because it wasn’t over-tried).
As the play came to an end, I was left with a feeling of openness. There was no solid conclusion, the conclusion was meant for the audience to play with in their own minds. I found this to be brilliant, but could understand why some would be disappointed.
Overall I rate Kim’s Convenience 8/10.
(I feel I don’t have a solid understanding of plays to give out 10’s just yet)
We were surprised with a question and answer session with the actors/actresses of the play! Sabrina and I decided to move up to the first row to get a better view of the set and the crew. Questions were great, and it was nice to see the artists as themselves. Quite amazing actually, to spot the differences in character between their fictional secondary persons and their actual selves. As the Q&A wrapped up, we exited the theatre and went on to enjoy the rest of our night.
Unfortunately, most of the light festival was shut down! It was only about 10:00pm at this point, maybe even earlier- I can’t remember. The light festival was supposed to be open until 11:00pm! So if you plan on seeing the light festival folks, go early! Anyways, that was kind of a bummer, but never let little things get you down- The following piece of art was one of the couple still on display.
Sabrina and I then enjoyed a couple drinks at the Mill St. Brewery in the Distillery District and called it a night.
I look forward to catching our next play tomorrow night at Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres. The play will be Shakespearean. This is the play I treated Sabrina with for her birthday. I’ll be sure to write about our friday night on Saturday.
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