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Rants, Raves and Reviews: Yaletown Yuppies

VANCOUVER, B.C. - I inhabit a new Yaletown condo, just like the elegant space designed by Yvan Morissette for Peter and Mary; (un)happily married couple of Francois Archambault’s The Leisure Society, now playing at Performance Works.  Well there are some differences of course between their place and mine.

For one thing, my view is better – I see water not buildings. I also have a swimming pool, although it’s not exactly on my patio, but several floors down in the so-called common area of the building.  Not too convenient for nude swimming, even at night. And although I had years of music lessons that would allow me to play chopsticks much better than Peter, I don’t have a piano in my living room.

Despite these areas of non-congruence between the condo in which Peter and Mary play out their outwardly happy upscale lives and the tower housing my new pad, I found myself looking speculatively at my fellow elevator passengers as we plummeted towards the underground parking area, juggling our stainless steel coffee travel mugs, brief cases, silent cell phones and bunches of keys.

Surely no alcoholic, nicotine addicted, sexually maladjusted baby torturers could lurk behind the friendly smiles of these nice fellow Yaletown denizens?  But as we stood, faces forward, staring fixedly at the blank steel elevator doors, I comforted myself with the thought that this is a play from Quebec and of course there could be no miserably dysfunctional couples like this here in Lotus land.   

This production of The Leisure Society (the ironic title says it all) provides Vancouverites with yet another excellent evening of theatre. Really good performances from all four actors and Diane Brown got the rhythms and the tempo of the piece just right. Scott Bellis has the pathetic, inadequate loser man character down pat, having got lots of practice performing Thom Pain earlier in the year and Robert Moloney’s Mark sent creepy shivers down my back. Colleen Wheeler’s Mary was simultaneously hilarious and tragic and I could listen to the timbre of Wheeler’s voice for ages. Hazel Venzon had a fun role as the youthful sex kitten, and object of the fantasies and desires of Peter, Mark and Mary. No that’s not the folk group, folks.

Ninety minutes, no intermission and not a flagging minute in the show - really worth a visit.