Tag Archives: Kim’s Convenience

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

Advertisements

Weekend Round-Up: Openings, Parades and Plays

cfscWelcome to the weekend. Our event of the weekend is the annual Winter Bike Parade hosted by CfSC and supported with an 8LocksFlat after bike/skate party this Saturday. Details below.

Thursday evening two new exhibitions opening at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Remi Theriault’s Front captures the present-day European countryside that was the scene of epic battles and transformed by the machinery of war.  Anyone who has visited these sites will be familiar with the grassy mounds where once trenches were dug, bodies were strewn and tanks ploughed the earth. Theriaults large scale images explore the landscape – serene, often vacant, at times a memorial – and what nature tells us about our violent past.  A well timed, thoughtful exhibit coming at the 100th anniversary of the 1st World War.

David R. Harper’s Entre le Chien et le Loup equally opens on Thursday night. “Entre chien et loup” is an expression that denotes the ephemeral time that divides the day from night – a dim and uncertain time.  Harper plays with this expression hinting not so much at the fleeting time of day but the transitory nature of memory exploring the link between the present moment and history through the use of mixed media including taxidermy, sculpture and ceramics.

Hopefully everyone pre-bought tickets to Vancouver’s Destroyer at the wonderful St Alban’s on King Edward ave as if rumours are correct it is sold out! Another great local event hosted by Arboretum Arts Festival.

Friday from 11:30am-2pm it’s the Stew Cook Off in the Byward Market. There will be all sorts of delicious participants from the SmoQue Shack, Fish Market and many more. 10$ gets you all the stew you can handle from over 20 competitors and all proceeds from this event are donated to our neighbours at the Lowertown Community Resource Centre’s camp program. Go delicious, go community.

Further afield but well in the zone of good taste this Friday is the opening of Ottawa’s Premiere Spice Shop “Cardamom & Cloves” at 440 Preston St from 10am-8pm.  Be one of the first to check out this new-comer in the vibrant downtown network of independently owned, crowd-source-supported businesses.

Soulpepper's Kim's ConvenienceFriday evening is the penultimate performance of Ins Choi’s Kim Convenience at the NAC.  The ensemble cast including the outstanding Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Best Actor in a Play 2012 – Toronto Theatre Critics Award), Andre Sills, Jean Yoon, Grace Lynn Kung and Choi shine in this simple yet universal play on difficult family dynamics, love, sacrifice and the transforming urban landscape. Set in a Toronto convenience store the story of what will happen to the business as Mr Kim nears retirement goes far deeper exploring generation conflict, expectations and acceptance. This production is a shining 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. Don’t miss this one. “Ok see you.”

Saturday: On Yer Bike Mates!  It’s the joint Citizens for Safe Cycling & 8LocksFlat family winter bike parade & Cycle-Skate Party. Meet at 11:15 – for an 11:30 departure – at the South Side of City Hall (Lisgar at Cartier). The route, in this it’s 3rd year,  features a leisurely 30-minute ride through our own Sandy Hill!!!!

The ride will wrap at 8LocksFlat where it’s Hot Chocolate for all and you can enjoy food, beer, fires and hop on the canal for a skate.

Saturday night is the last night for Kim’s Convenience and I’m highly recommending it!

Saturday and Sunday 1-4PM there are free wagon rides throughout Winterlude in the Byward Market.  Take the family and hop on at the corner of York St & William St.

On Sunday as part of Winterlude there is a Public Ice-Carving Challenge from 11:30-2:30.  You’ll need to register in advance for this fun, slightly daunting and creative activity.

Also on Sunday at the Rink of Dreams there are 30 minute ice shows at 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30 so bring you skates and enjoy the show.