Tag Archives: Ins Choi

Kim’s Convenience: Pitch Perfect Performances at the NAC

My only regret about seeing Kim’s Convenience at the NAC last night was that I didn’t go earlier in the run and have greater opportunity to plug this SoulPepper Theatre production by Ins Choi.

Soulpepper's Kim's ConvenienceInitially a vignette Choi was encouraged to grow Kim’s Convenience to a full length play which went on to win the Fringe Festival New Play 2011 and is now on a National tour. Set in a Toronto convenience store the story of what will become of the family business as Mr Kim (the remarkable Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) nears retirement goes deeper exploring generational and personal expectations and the power of acceptance. Kim, his wife (Jean Yoon) and daughter Janet (Grace-Lynn Kung) reveal distinctly personal desires despite living in the close confines above the small shop creating resonant characters that ground the production from the outset.

The writing and directing are crisp transitioning the audience smoothly from Kim’s banter with Janet, his hilarious lessons in shop management and customer interactions to a breathtakingly tender moment when prodigal son Jung (Choi) joins his mother “Umma” (Yoon) in song. While several plot developments unfold at unrealistic speed the overall needs of the straight-forward narrative make this an acceptable weakness.

The ensemble cast including the outstanding Lee (Best Actor in a Play 2012 – Toronto Theatre Critics Award) maintain a rhythmic balance between drama and comedy that captures the audience and brings a polished delivery to the simple production.  Lee and Hung are wonderfully cast as father-daughter and their delivery is a complex dance of love and conflict.  Andre Sills takes on multiple characters convincingly while Yoon is memorable in her small yet poignantly touching role. Together the cast shine in a simple yet universal play on difficult family dynamics, love, sacrifice and a transforming urban landscape.

This production is a captivating example of the power and accessibility of live theatre when well timed comedic writing is encompassed within compelling story-telling & supported by pitch perfect performances.

There are 3 performances left. Don’t miss this one. “Ok see you.”

Kim’s Convenience @ NAC until Feb 8th

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Weekend Round-Up: Downtown Chills & Winterlude Skills

No shortage of options this weekend folks – so ready, set, go LOCAL!

subway stations of the crossWhile Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience garners rave reviews at the NAC Sandy Hill gets the opportunity Sunday night to further explores Choi’s repertoire as he brings his one-off performance “Subway Stations of the Cross” to St Alban’s church. It promises a powerful spoken word piece with songs inspired by an encounter between Choi and a homeless man. 8PM 20$

On Thursday University of Ottawa Bike Coop (200 Lees Ave, Room A105) is holding a workshop on basic bike maintenance – tires and tubes. Get ready to fix your summer bike or learn how to maintain a year-rounder.  Bike Co-op membership is open to all.

There are still tickets available for Thursday night’s extra-date with Leif Vollebekk, performing at St Alban’s Church (454 King Edward Ave.) – through Ticketweb or at Vertigo Records and Compact Music – 8PM ADV 10$Leif Vollbekk

Lunenburg Pub has local theatre troupe 9th Hour and their production of Grain of Salt on Thursday and Friday evening. Little theatre and a little tipple. 7:30PM 20$ Door

Friday evening head to the Ottawa Art Gallery for the vernissage of Degel (Thaw) new works from Visual Arts artist Manon Labrosse. Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave, 5-8PM

winterlude-logoFriday night Winterlude kicks off in Confederation Square from 7pm with the “Great Winter Ball” that includes opening ceremonies, ice carvings, djs and fireworks. 7PM

Ice Carving events continue throughout the weekend with competitors from around the world taking part. Check out their mad Winterlude skills throughout the weekend at Confederation Park. FREE

Saturday evening is the closing night of Neil Simon’s Rumours at the  Ottawa Little Theatre, 400 King Edward Ave, 2PM, 12-25$

Saturday also sees Freeze Frame whereby 10 independent film makers were challenged to create within a 24hour deadline a Super 8mm short film using the Freeze Frame theme Saw Gallery(67 Nicholas St) 7:30PM FREE.

pop-fiction2-658x360Looking for some French Theatre? Come to Arts Court where until Sunday Feb 2nd you can take in Pop Fiction. A mixture of Science-Fiction and Reality this play brings the audience in to the action as it explores the strengths and failings of communications yesterday, today and tomorrow. 15-20$

Sunday Night it is our pick of the week Ins Choi’s Subway Stations of the Cross. One night only at St Alban’s Church 8PM.

Finally there is some kind of sporting event also on Sunday that some may want to take in apparently…. Happy Weekending!