Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Fringe Review: RealTime

Well, it's been a while since I've seen any live theater, mostly because I don't get much theater word-of-mouth (as compared to film), and I don't like to take the risk and see bad theater, because to me, a bad play is much worse than a bad film. With a bad play, you have to sit there and suffer right along with the actors standing about ten feet in front of you; you don't have that problem with Angelina Jolie.
Last night, though, I was reminded just how good live theater can be. Matt Alden's RealTime was a very strong work, in terms of writing (Matt), direction (Beth Mackey), and acting (Matt again and Vanessa Sabourin). Oh, and the lighting was good too (Stage Manager Rachel Rudd), but to be perfectly frank, I wasn't exactly blown away by the lights. The set and lighting design were both very sparse; two stools, two chairs, and a table, which made the acting and direction even more impressive; actors changing between different characters by only slight mannerisms and stage position.
I may be accused of giving this play an overly positive, knowing three of the four people involved with it, but I say completely honestly, if I had a spare $10 (or a comp ticket, but even with my personal connections, I doubt it's gonna happen), I'd go see it again in a heartbeat. It wasn't perfect, but not much is, and I don't think they were going for perfection. They were out to tell a good story well, and they succeeded. They elicited emotions in the audience without having to manipulate them; by acting naturally and allowing the characters and the situation to resonate without trickery. If you're in Edmonton, and like live theater, you should definitely check out the locals performing in RealTime.

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