Review: Love In The Time Of Time Machines (Theatre Elusive)

A show about love and time travel just in time for Valentine’s Day at Toronto’s Comedy Bar

At the start of Love In The Time Of Time Machines, a narrator takes the stage.

Up until recently we’re told, the mechanical mastery of time was elusive. One prototype device exploded. Another traversed forward at the rate of just one-second-per-second.

Thanks to the efforts of a diligent employee of a breakfast cereal company however, zipping backwards and forwards through the years is possible. What’s more, we’re told that this plucky chap intends to use the device to tinker with his romantic life.

Appropriately the show went up on Valentine’s Day at the Comedy Bar.

I’d never seen the place as busy as that night!

In my experience, going there maybe four or five times, the traffic at its mahogany counter has been fairly tranquil. Pleasantly steady, I’d say.

On Valentine’s night the place was thick with hoards of people in their twenties and thirties.

I commented on the volume to the bartender.

Her reply was a bit nonplussed. “Yeah, not bad, not bad,” she said.

Maybe this is typical for a Thursday. It wouldn’t surprise me if it were.

Just to clarify, Comedy Bar is not just a venue for stand-up performers. The type of stuff one usually sees on Just For Laughs. Or, to borrow an example from one of my favorite shows, the stuff that opens Seinfeld in early episodes of the series: a man with a microphone making jokes.

Comedy Bar’s offering is more along the lines of long-form sketch comedy that draws on a combination of scripted work and ad lib skills. It’s the type of brilliance that undergirds more experimental animated shows like Dr Katz and Home Movies.

That said, Love In The Time Of Time Machines is far more than an extended sketch premise.

Created by David Tichauer and Ned Petrie, Love In The Time Of Time Machines makes incredible use of its three performers and an ultra-simple set to pull off a clever, ambitious plot.

I particularly liked the actor doubling. I absolutely love it when performers play multiple roles in the same piece.

Although Love In The Time Of Time Machines was scheduled to go up for just that one night, before going down to New York City, I’m told it may make a return to Toronto.