Review: Sunday on the Rocks – Robinson Street Productions 2 Co-op

By Crystal Wood

Four females talk about life, love… and scotch in this play on stage in Toronto until May 23

Before there was Sex and the City, there was Theresa Rebeck’s 1994 play Sunday on the Rocks. So, if you’re dying for some booze-fuelled girl-gabbing before the SATC sequel comes out, this play might help to fill that void.

Playing at Bread & Circus (one of this writer’s favourite theatre venues, and not just because you can bring your drinks inside), the play focuses around one fateful Sunday where four roommates discuss relationships, philosophies and fears.

The play alternates between comedy and drama, and even has a karaoke number thrown in for good measure. The cast is energetic, with Jackie English delivering much of the action (a large part of the play focuses around her character, Elly’s, pregnancy.) I also enjoyed Amy Wallis’ Jen, who was feisty and funny throughout.

And since I’ve already mentioned 50% of the cast right there, I’ll finish by saying that the other two ladies were also good in their roles, although I didn’t feel that Rosemary Doyle’s Gayle had enough to do, and Marnie Robinson (Jessica)’s voice didn’t carry as well as the others- even in such a small venue.

So if the actors were good, what was the bad? For me, it was the script. (I was even more disappointed when I read that Theresa Rebeck has written for everybody from Random House to Law and Order.)

I didn’t personally enjoy how unevenly the characters were weighted. It’s not really an ensemble piece. It’s mostly Elly’s story – but not entirely – Jessica doesn’t appear until intermission, and Gayle doesn’t have a whole lot to do. And although the play had plenty of good moments (both funny ones and dramatic ones), it doesn’t say anything particularly new about men or friendship. Even Carrie and her girls had more unique things to say about the state of modern love.

But to show that opinions are just that, I ran into two friends at Sunday on the Rocks, and one of them said she loved the script, calling it “tight” with “lots of impact.” The other loved the show as well, and thought it was very funny. If only we’d had a fourth female, we could have gone out for Cosmos afterwards… or Glenlivet Scotch, as the ladies of Sunday on the Rocks prefer.

Details:

– Playing until May 23, 2010 at Bread & Circus, 299 Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market

– Tickets are $10-$15, available online or by calling 416-336-3399

– Showtimes: Thursday to Saturday at 7:30pm, Sundays at 6:00pm, and Saturday afternoons at 3:00pm.