By Adam Collier
My seat is just to the right of the bed – er, stage I mean.
The play begins with a boy named Ben (Darrel Gamotin) switching places with a boy-like monster (Danny MacDonald) to stay home from school. Ben then has to deal with the monster’s father (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee), while the boy-monster has to deal with a day in elementary school.
The entire theatre turns into a playing space for the actors of The Monster Under The Bed. The characters lack emotional censorship, too so the action – exploration and interaction by the characters with the universe around them – seems completely honest. Honesty is very funny!
Honesty is also, evidently, very engaging to kids. The night I attended, kids were about two-thirds of the audience. Throughout the show, little voices were calling out to the characters. For example, when Ben’s best friend Vince asks the monster, “Ben, that’s not Ben is it?” a girl’s voice from the audience blurted out, “He’s the monster!” Because the stage is so close to the seats, little hands were reaching out at the costumes and props.
The cast (that includes Marie Beath Badian and David Yee) is not the slightest bit thrown by the audience participation, which is impressive. My sense is that they were really into it. In particular, Mr. Sun-Hyung Lee plays to the audience very naturally.
The candor and attention to detail in every aspect of the production makes The Monster Under The Bed a very special show. I’d strongly recommend it to everyone.
– Monster Under The Bed (written by Kevin Dyer, and directed by Nina Lee Aquino) is playing from Monday March 8th to Thursday April 1st
– It is playing at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (165 Front Street East, just east of Jarvis)
– Tickets range between $10 – $20
– Tickets can be purchased at the box office, by phone (416-862- 2222) or online