Pieces is the story of Jim (Jim Downing), who is married to Susan (Rosemary Dunsmore). Jodi (Allison Price), his former mistress – shows up on his doorstep one day suffering from cancer and with a child in tow. Pieces is running until June 9 at Unit 102.
Pieces is a series of scenes that tell a chronological story no matter their order. The script’s sequence is randomly determined thirty minutes before each show, allowing for 120 different ways for the story to be told. Therefore, the show I saw will be told differently from the one you will see. It’s definitely an interesting concept from a creative standpoint, and I can absolutely see the appeal of this challenge. However, this raises some interesting questions.
Does this really affect an audience? Not unless you go see the show more than once. If you decide to, tickets drop from the initial $20 to $30 price tag to $5 for repeat viewings.
Does the story stand up to this random arrangement? The plot made sense to me, and in fact seemed rather linear despite being randomly determined – but it’s not terribly interesting. My boyfriend agreed that the story was a tad simplistic and predictable. This may have been a necessary result of a script that had to make sense no matter which way the story was told. Which isn’t to say that the show is boring: I think captivating performances all around really held Pieces together, particularly Rosemary Dunsmore’s portrayal of Susan.
I absolutely loved the set. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Unit 102, and I was impressed by the overall transformation of the space. You are, without a doubt, sitting in someone’s condo. The art throughout was curated by Rachael Buchwald, and much of it is quite impressive.
Ultimately, the concept of the show is interesting, as are the performances and set design. The story fell a bit flat, however, and Pieces is not something I felt the need to see a second time, no matter how the story was told.
– Pieces is playing at Unit 102 (376 Dufferin Street)
– Performances: May 26 at 6:30pm & 10pm, May 31 at 8pm, June 1 at 8pm, June 2 at 6:30pm & 10pm, June 6 at 8pm, June 7 at 8pm, June 8 at 8pm, June 9 at 8pm.
– Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the door, and $5 for return visits
– Tickets are available at secureaseat.com.
Photo of James Downing and Allison Price by Alec Toller.