Whether you are in a relationship, just out of one, seeking a partner…or simply, Single as a Pringle and ready to Mingle, the one show you need to see this November is It’s (kind of) a Love Story, at the Commons Theatre, by Tree of Life Theatre Company Inc.
Running from Nov 16-26th, the play tells us the story of two best friends; Alison and Michael, who are in two minds whether to take their simple, platonic relationship to new levels. The only thing holding Alison back is her fear of what will happen. Will this pursuit of happiness end up in disappointment? Will everyone else understand this new-found love? And most of all, will Alison be able to release herself from a negative past event, that has shaped the expectations and insecurities of herself, for such a long time.
Sitting in the Commons Theatre, I was impressed at the spaciousness and comfort of the performance space. For a play that relies a lot on expressive, energetic dance & choreography, the theatre space allowed this masterpiece to be created; effectively and productively.
But what about the performance? Did I enjoy it? Would I recommend it? Was this a worthy new addition to the Toronto Theatre Scene? My answer? YEs, yes…and YES!
From the moment the lights dimmed, I had a feeling I was going to enjoy it immensely. With only 3 actors on stage, I was blown away by the realisation of how effective a small cast can be in telling a thought-provoking and stimulating piece of theatre. With the support, guidance and expertise of a great ‘behind-the-scenes’ crew, of course.
The writing talent of creator Naomi Peltz was spectacular, as she delivered a beautiful and realistic storyline, which many could relate to. At times during the show, I was nearly convinced Naomi had a crystal ball in her possession and had taken a glimpse into my past love life, in order to write this funny, heart-felt creation.
We’ve all had that one friend in our lives that we have contemplated a relationship with. And believe me, I am no stranger to this crazy,yet human, predicament. As embaressing and fruitless as my love attempts may have been, Alison has much deeper issues that need to be approached, when it comes to her possible life with Michael.
Ellie Posadas (Alison) and JaeMoon Lee (Michael) played the passion-challenged duo with such emotion, personality and depth, that you fell in love with them & were always anticipating what would happen next.
The entire cast were fantastic in their given roles, but it was Denise Norman, in her role as Every Woman that had the audience laughing. Denise portrayed a wonderful range of narrative characters, who all had their own opinions on the coupl’s situation. Whether it was Alison’s friend, mother, or the crowd-pleasing Starbucks Lady (with her HEY GURRLLLLLLLL dialogue), Denise is a professional when it comes to delivering a powerful and memorable performance.
The original script by Naomi Peltz was brought to life by a hard working and creative stage-crew consisting of director Peter Van Wart, co-producer Sarah McGowan, stage manager Tory Johnston and lighting designer John Cabanela. Although unfamiliar with some of their previous work, I was able to appreciate the love and devotion each one of them put into this piece.
One familiar face I did, recognise immediately was producer and co-founder of Tree of Life Theatre Company, Sarah McGowan. I was originally introduced to Sarah in her recent performance as Gerry, in the popular comedy-cabaret “Love you to Death.” Now adding producing to her list of achievements, not only can this young girl act, sing and dance, but with her extensive theatrical talents…she is the the definition of a Triple Threat.
To top off a wonderful evening, the audience were treated to the musical delights of singer/songwriter CLAIRE HUNTER, who just released her debut EP, SOMETHING SAFE, this year. The perfect blend of strength and softness to her voice was without a doubt, a pre-show treat for all. After hearing only 20 mins of music, I immediately added her in my Spotify playlist; now on a loop.
One thing is for sure, about the show itself… Tree of Life Theatre Company, know how to please their crowds. Not only do they make you feel welcome and appreciated, but their personal nature and genuine gratitude will make you want to come back, again and again.
It’s (kind of) a Love Story runs from Nov 16-26th at the Commons Theatre, 190 Richmond Street East, Toronto.
Tickets can be purchased online by clicking HERE or in person prior to the show.
Run Time: 60 Mins