Skip to main content

Review: The Chance

int(100144)
/By / Oct 25, 2017
SHARE

The Chance

Leroy Street Theatre

Written by George F. Walker, directed by Wes Berger. At the Assembly Theatre. Runs until October 30.

In George F. Walker’s newest play, The Chance, Walker does what he does best: champions the underdogs. Marcie (Fiona Reid), her daughter Jo (Claire Burns), and their friend Amie (Anne van Leeuwen) are on the edges of what might be considered “respectable”: Marcie is trying to manage debt and fend off creditors, while Jo and Amie are strippers with their own problems and few prospects.

Walker has made these women wily and tenacious in their quest to grab any chance to get just a little further ahead. This means not necessarily abiding by the strict letter of the law. So when a mysterious cheque for a lot of money is found made out to cash, Marcie goes straight to the bank.

Dialogue runs like the wind in Walker plays because his characters are always thinking about their next move in order to keep three steps ahead of the sheriff. It’s clear director Wes Berger has a keen sense of the desperate worlds Walker creates, and certainly how his characters deal with that desperation.

The pacing and interplay is razor sharp. Scenes are beautifully compact, without one extraneous move. The cast of three are so accomplished it looks like they have been rehearsing for months. The humour comes from the characters’ wacky situations and how they make light of them. It’s done very seriously as all humour should be done—nothing will kill a joke or laugh-line faster than a character telegraphing where the laugh is.

Reid pops off Marcie’s lines with ease, yet still conveys her character’s weariness due to the state of her life. We watch her think on her feet—eyes focused, brain snatching at any idea that will help get her out of a jam. Burns plays Jo with a sense of hopelessness, but while Jo has a lot of worry, she has purpose and that keeps her going. Finally, van Leeuwen plays Amie as a devil-may-care party girl. She doesn’t seem to have a worry in the world but knows an opportunity when it presents itself.

For Leroy Street Theatre to have earned the rights to do a new Walker play and have cast the celebrated Fiona Reid in the part of Marcie is a coup. It’s a terrific production. See it before it closes on Monday.

For tickets or more information, click here.

Lynn Slotkin
WRITTEN BY

Lynn Slotkin

Lynn is the former theatre critic for Intermission, and currently writes reviews on her blog The Slotkin Letter. She also does theatre reviews, interviews, and commentary for CIUT Friday Morning (89.5 FM). She was a theatre reviewer for CBC's Here and Now for ten years. On average, she sees 280 shows a year.

LEARN MORE

Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


/
iPhoto caption: Photo by Dahlia Katz.

REVIEW: Age Is a Feeling aches with tenderness and love

Age Is a Feeling is a warm hug for whoever might need it.

By Aisling Murphy
Production shots of the Stratford Festival shows reviewed below: Hedda Gabler, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet. iPhoto caption: Production shots by David Hou.

REVIEW: Straightforward concepts, stripped-down sets, and strong performances define Stratford’s approach to the canon this year

Throughout Stratford’s productions of Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, and Hedda Gabler, moments of actorly playfulness jolt us into the here and now.

By Liam Donovan
stratford festival iPhoto caption: Production shots by David Hou.

REVIEW: Stratford boasts a flair for the dramatic in two terrific musicals and a spooky take on Shakespeare

All in, this was a very strong opening week for Stratford, but seriously, go see the musicals!

By Aisling Murphy
iPhoto caption: Photo by Dahlia Katz.

REVIEW: The Wrong Bashir is an ode to the hyphenated identities of Canada

Quibbles on the show's comedy aside, The Wrong Bashir will stay with me for a while as a successful ode to hyphenated identities across Canada. 

By Eleanor Yuneun Park
iPhoto caption: Photo of Come Home — The Legend of Daddy Hall by Cylla von Tiedemann.

REVIEW: The Legend of Daddy Hall feels like coming home

Home is not a place, it’s a feeling, and Come Home — The Legend of Daddy Hall feels like I came home. I was taken on a journey watching this play and came out honoured to be a witness to such an incredible story. I encourage you to do the same.

By Aisha Lesley Bentham
beaches the musical iPhoto caption: Photo of Beaches the Musical by Trudie Lee.

REVIEW: Beaches the Musical is spine-tingling and tender

If you have a yen for catchy tunes, love stories, and everything else that makes the most successful Broadway productions so memorable and universal, invite your bestie to Theatre Calgary to see Beaches the Musical. 

By Jacqueline Louie