Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Chance at Assembly Theatre

I'll keep this fairly short, as I am fairly tired.  I'm back from seeing The Chance at Assembly Theatre, which was another Toronto world premiere of a George F. Walker play.  I think the review in The Star is spot on.  There is a lot to like about this play, particularly the interactions of the three female actors, but the ending is pretty nonsensical.  I think Walker should have been challenged to come up with a slightly more realistic way out of the jam (or rather I didn't mind how the first part of the climax unfolded, but not the change of heart that allows the second part to play out).  At this point, if you don't have tickets, you probably are not going to be able to see the show.  Even after adding two more shows, they are technically sold out (glad I got mine a while ago), but they probably can get some people in off the wait list.  They probably could have squeezed two or three more bodies last night.

I know just how difficult it is to find space to put on indy theatre in Toronto, but I am not a fan of this new space -- the Assembly Theatre.  As at The Red Sandcastle, Coal Mine and The Box, the restrooms are inside the theatre space itself (actually on the far side of the stage), so you can't go until the house opens.  Unlike these other theatres, they seemed to keep the house closed until very close to show time.  That just causes all kinds of back-ups.  In addition, the seats are small and too close together.  I found myself pressing up my seat neighbour quite a bit (and on my other side was a pillar).  And there is only a single aisle on the far left, so going to the washroom was an obstacle course!  Fortunately, the play was just an hour, so I didn't bother hitting the washroom, and I was able to keep my cough more or less under control.

Still, this is actually a worse layout than Red Sandcastle, Coal Mine or The Box.  And while it wasn't their fault, the TTC service was really bad last night (including even more diversions of the Queen streetcar down to King and back) and I got to the theatre just before the house opened, so I was stressed and had no time to find anything to eat.  So I wouldn't say I would never go back to a production at Assembly Theatre, but it will have to be a very special event or some play that I am just dying to see.

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