Humour that “kills” in Rock, playing at Toronto’s Storefront Theatre
I’ve been meaning to check out the Storefront Theatre on Bloor Street before it even opened. I walk by it everyday on my way to and from work and couldn’t wait for my little neighbourhood filled with artists, actors and musicians to have its very own theatre. This little gem located in the Bloor/Ossington neighbourhood is the kind of place you want to stick around for a drink after the show. It’s so cozy and inviting that if I didn’t have a ride waiting outside I would have definitely stayed for a post-show drink, something I rarely do.
The fact that I could watch Kat Sandler’s Rock there as my first experience was perfect. I saw LOVESEXMONEY last year and was pretty sure this show would have the same fun-filled spirit while exploring some pretty dark subject matter, but never not having fun! In fact, I was so positive about the show that I even took my friend who I lovingly call the “show jinx”. And, success…even she had a great time!
I don’t know what I can say about Rock that would be more convincing than the synopsis on their website – I had probably only read half of it before I was sold – but let me give it a fair shot. The story basically follows a couple in their late twenties – Ben and Tasha – whose relationship has hit a stagnant point. Ben’s childhood friend – Mikey – who has recently lost his house, moves in, and all of a sudden Ben starts hearing voices that tell him to kill bad people. So he starts rock-bashing people’s heads in and that’s just the start to this comedy.
There is no wasted dialogue in this play. Every line is hilarious and the audience is in stitches all the way through. I actually had tears running down my face towards the end of the second act from laughing so damn hard. Not only is the dialogue funny and witty but also completely relatable considering the less than relatable circumstances these characters find themselves in.
The script is phenomenal and the acting brings it to life. It would be oh-so-easy for this script to go wrong. It could come off totally absurd while not being funny and the characters could have been one-dimensional and flat. None of that happens. This show is the perfect package. There wasn’t a single element that didn’t work for me.
The actors are fantastic, to say the least. They are all so strong and work incredibly well together. Every single person in this cast of five is superb. My friend and I did have our favourites though. Tim Walker nails his part to a tee and Roger Bainbridge is stellar in every single scene.
This is the kind of show that I think my friends would actually go and see and not think of as “going to the theatre”. For the most part whenever I go to a show the audience is rarely under 40 but I think shows like this are attracting a new and younger demographic, which is great to see.
– Rock is playing at The Storefront Theatre (955 Bloor St W) till March 23, 2013
– Performances run Thursday to Saturday at 8pm (except Mar. 14 at 7:30pm); matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.
– Tickets are $20 except for $10 on Mar. 20 and PWYC for Sunday Mar. 10 at 8pm
– Tickets can be purchased online or in person
Photo of Claire Armstrong, Tim Walker, Andy Trithardt, Roger Bainbridge, Jen Balen by Zaiden