Review: Point No Point (Chainsaw Theatre Co-Op)

Chainsaw Theatre Co-Op is producing Point No Point – July 21st to July 31st – at Tarragon Theatre’s Extra Space.

As I found a seat, I took in Eleni McKinnon’s set.

Usually – in my experience, at least – a set like this, with such close attention to detail portends a play attempting realism.

Generally, I’m a fan of realism. So I cracked my knuckles with anticipation, hoping for a good show.

Without getting into too much detail, the plot of Point No Point pivots around a sexual trauma. Playwright Noah Davis examines what its consequences might be; both on the victim, and, as a disclosure, on the relationship of a young couple.

At first I was struck by this novel and somewhat daring premise.

Exactly how early sexual experiences – good or bad – affect later sexual enjoyment is a topic we rarely discuss. And, as Point No Point – I thi,nk – correctly shows, bad experiences are almost impossible to talk openly about.

Mr. Davis also correctly suggests, I think, that one person’s trauma – no matter what type it is – can profoundly affect the people who love the person who has been traumatized.

But for me, there was something glib, almost condescending in the writing.

For example, I bristled when, after one character discloses her sexual past, the young woman’s companion says, in a tone indicating no emotion, ‘It’s not like a tsunami that wiped out your family and friends,’ then kisses her a few times on the forehead.

Not that I was expecting some magic, perfect response from the other character. But, particularly because just moments before, this same guy was telling her, with so much gusto, that he loves her, the consolation seemed pretty facile.

Somehow I couldn’t buy the idea that he genuinely cares about her, and yet could seem only mildly sympathetic to her past.

Right around then, I became pretty much ambivalent towards the success or failure of the relationship onstage.

As it turns-out – or, at least as Mr. Davis seems to insist – her disclosure has profoundly impacted both characters. And, it is suggested much later that the tepid earlier response of Mister ‘I love you’ might have been tempered due to something that happened in his past.

Okay, that’s fair. That might make sense. But, by the time that rationale rolls out, it seems to me to be too little, too late.

As an exercise in character study, Point No Point is pretty fascinating. Mr. Davis deserves praise for revealing so many facets in his characters.

In the words of one patron I was talking to after the show, “it’s a one hour onion.” I agree.

And, I can’t heap enough praise on Mylene Dinh-Rubic in her role as Susan. Ms. Dinh-Rubic seems to give absolutely the full range of emotions that are demanded in the part.

I think it’s also fair to say, that in portraying – what is arguably – a very dysfunctional couple, Ms. Dinh-Rubic and her onstage counterpart, Mr. Davis playing Scott, are great together.

When the two of them really go at one another in the third scene for example, the whole world feels like it’s about to collapse. And Point No Point has more than just a few exhilarating moments like this.

No matter how implausible it seemed to me that the couple onstage would actually be a couple, the momentum of the action was toward a relationship falling apart anyway. So that implausibility doesn’t really seem to matter. And in the end, Point No Pointworks well.

I’d recommend it.

Details

Chainsaw Theatre Co-Op is producing Point No Point – July 21st to July 31st – at Tarragon Theatre’s Extra Space.

– The performance runs sixty minutes, with no intermission.

– Shows run Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM, with a Sunday matinee at 2:30 PM

– Tickets are $22

– For more info call 416 531 1827 or visit chainsawtheatre.com