By Robert Waldman
Now, more than ever, people need an escape. Historically the movies have provided that high. When times are dark people need a good laugh. Like a breath of fresh air The Arts Club has succeeded In pulling off a triumphant crowd-pleasing winner called Kim’s Convenience. Inspired by the hit Canadian television series this live play is serving up superb fun in Vancouver at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage on Granville Street.
Family matters. So does work. Often the two are interrelated, going hand in hand. Our story revolves around your typical small grocery store. Here the action is hot and heavy, fast and furious, as we get introduced to a hard-working proud as hell Korean working class family trying to make ends meet in present day Toronto.
Led by Appa, the tough talking ultra nationalistic dad all is not well at the business. All one can say is James Yi ignites the stage as the well-meaning store owner. Long carrying on business as a one-man band the aging dynamo has the spirit of Korea ingrained in his blood. That nationalistic bent provides lots of fodder for comedy – most notably at the expense of the Japanese. While most people mellow over time Appa still comes on strong – almost like a more genteel Archie Bunker. Comical political incorrectness seems to be instilled in the man’s genes.
Family businesses often involve considerable growing pains and this is certainly the case for papa and his two children. Sparks fly when the issue of succession comes up along with the amorous pursuits of the kids.
Thanks to smart writing the whole meaning behind Kim’s Convenience is easily transferable to any ethnic group or nationality. Gentle humour abounds in this wonderful story. Watch out for the chemistry between father and daughter Janet who is brilliantly captured by Brianna Kim. And triple threat Andrew Creightney brings down the house with three separate characters that fuel the fire in this 75-minute tour de force triumph.
To have an unbelievable good time take a friend or family member to see this play.
For more information on Kim’s Convenience or for tickets please go to artsclub.com Or call (604) 687-1644. It’s a must see show here only until March 27.
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