By Megan Mooney
I saw Intimate Apparel when Obsidian Theatre Company first produced it in 2008, and I loved it. I saw Intimate Apparel when Canadian Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre Company produced it together this year, and I still loved it.
It’s a lovely play with an engaging story, excellent actors, great direction and a beautiful set. What’s not to like?
My show partner for this one, Leanne (who also happens to be Mooney on Theatre’s new assistant editor, yay Leanne!), also really enjoyed the show. She told me she found the first act a tiny bit slow, and I can see that. The piece seemed to drag a wee bit until the first scene between Esther (Raven Dauda) and Mayme (Lisa Berry). The energy between the two of them was electric, and for me, the show soared from that point on. When I thought back to it, I remembered feeling the same way when I first saw the show.
As with the last production, my favourite part was the interaction between Esther and Mr. Marks (Alex Poch-Goldin). There was so much in these scenes, and it was conveyed so subtly. The scenes were so very beautiful.
We both agreed that the acting was fantastic and that the script was well crafted and complex. In fact, our only complaint was the space. Leanne said she was very aware of the audience while watching the show, and she wanted to get lost in the action.
I couldn’t help comparing it to the production upstairs at the Berkeley Theatre in 2008, a small intimate space where the energy was tangible. A space so intimate that you may as well be sitting on stage. It’s a space that served this show very well.
Don’t let our issues with the size of the space deter you though. It’s a great production, and in truth, it’s very exciting to see it in a larger venue where more people will be able to see it.
So, yes, it’s official, after two years, I still think this is a fantastic show, deserving of many accolades. Go see it. You won’t regret it.
– Intimate Apparel plays until March 6, 2010 at the Baluma Appel Theatre (27 Front St E)
– Showtimes are Monday to Saturday at 8pm, with Wednesday matinees at 1:30, and Saturday matinees at 2pm
– Tickets range from $20 – $92. If you’re under 30 then there are tickets for $12.50. There’s also PWYC performances on Mondays, and rush seats are 50% off the face value of the ticket, and are available one hour before showtime.
– Tickets can be purchased in person at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts or the Berkeley Theatre, by telephone at 416-368-3110, or online.
Photo of Alex Poch-Goldin and Raven Dauda by David Hou