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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Suicide(s) in Vegas

Reviewed by Janis Kirshner

This is a very watchable Canadian play produced by an American company made up of people who met in Seoul, Korea. And like its origins, the sum of its parts makes for a very good whole. Lydia (performed by South African Elinza Pretorius) and Jane (American Amber Green) work beautifully together and apart, playing their own roles to a tee as well as various minor characters. There’s a nice structure to the play and I cared where the story was going and how it would all end. That’s more than half the battle right there when going to the theatre.

Lydia is a motivational speaker who wants out of the lie that is her life. Jane is lost in a reverie waiting for her life to happen. I enjoyed following their lives, which is most of the play. They then meet online; two people who want to end it all, and choose Vegas as the place.

This is a funny play with some very good lines (“My misery makes my therapist a better person.”) and descriptions that offer up vibrant images (Lydia running through the various ‘countries’ in the West Edmonton Mall carrying a cardboard cut-out of herself). It has the right amount of wit, wistfulness, pathos, irony, sweetness, honesty and sadness.

Watching the arc of the story is what’s at the heart of it all, as well as the slogans that actually make you think (“Don’t live - survive!”). At the end of the day, you make your own history, you make your own future, you fight to be ‘seen’ and being ‘ordinary’ isn’t as big an insult as you originally thought. A fine way to spend an hour.

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