Toronto troupe examines ghosts of relationships past at Pia Bouman Theatre
By Crystal Wood
There’s something comforting about watching the characters in John Patrick Shanley’s Where’s My Money?, playing at the Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement.
No matter who you are or what your experiences, you’re bound to have a few skeletons in your closet. Or, in the case of Where’s My Money, ghosts. Shanley’s play takes a look at how these ghosts of past relationships can hold us back in new relationships. He presents a series of two-person scenes that seem disconnected at first glance, but are in fact revealed to be closely tied. And while the script really hits you over the head with the ghost metaphor, it does so in an entertaining and powerful way.
The cast is uniformly good, with the stand-outs for me being Michael Kash and Anna Hardwick. I did find the cast’s “New Yawk” accents a little too thick, but they were soon forgotten so it clearly wasn’t too distracting. My friend Ben claimed that his favourite performers were “all the girls”, which would include Hardwick, Ingrid Rae Doucet and Mary Francis Moore.
David Ferry’s direction was also fantastic, which is no surprise if you happened to catch The Last Days of Judas Iscariot last year. The pacing is kept tight so this 90-minute play feels more like 75, and I particularly enjoyed the live musical accompaniment during the scene transitions. Ben thought the show started to drag near the end a little, pointing to a scene between the character of Sidney (Kash) and his wife (Moore.) Looking back on it now, I can see his point. It was the longest scene in the play, but it was also the only scene with awkward sex and a knife fight!
I think the biggest reason that I enjoyed this production of Where’s My Money? so much is that it’s the perfect example of how really good theatre can be made. Yes, the sets are minimal, and that’s okay. Yes, the venue is a little off the beaten track, but that’s what Metropasses are for. But in the end, Alley Co-op has given Toronto a production with a strong script, fantastic acting and skilled direction, which is something not all productions can say.
– Performances take place at the Pia Bouman Studio Theatre, 6 Noble St.
– Runs until May 30. Showtimes are Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2 pm.
– Tickets cost $20, available in person or call 416-504-7529
Photo of John Cleland and Anna Hardwick by Anna-Lea Boeki