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A Raw Space
An architectís wealthy wife sets up a competition between her husband and another architect who is married to her former friend. She challenges the men to come up with an apartment design thatís simple, warm and effortless. These are qualities that this complicated, cold and labored play could surely use.
While its predecessors, Old Wicked Songs and The Temperamentals, had much to recommend them, A Raw Space is a mostly nasty little piece. Itís hard to warm up to these characters, and the few parts that are meant to make them more appealing come off as plot contrivances.
A clever twist on point-of-view comes at the cost of a long time spent on a real-time replay. Two scenes often occupy the same space at the same time. A useful tactic when thereís too little to do on stage in each discrete scene, it looks gratuitous. And while the very attractive and well executed set design is the star of this show, itís odd when a projected vast city view from the large apartment window randomly appears and disappears.
The underlying analogy, "the elegant interplay between architectural design and the architecture of a marriage": is not left intriguingly tacit. In fact, the idea that whatís left unsaid can speak as loudly as whatís verbalized gets no play here. Rather, the subtextual armature is laid out in detail, like in a soap opera, in case anyone misses the parallels.
Finally, this structure implodes as the actors fail to click. Keith Bakerís mannered acting style doesnít work with Anette Michelle Sandersí attempt at a more naturalistic approach to her role as his indulged bossy wife. Not much can be done with the cumbersome dialogue that Madi Distefano as the not-friend, and Jack Koenig as Rod, the hot competing architect have to handle. .
Although Iíd like to pull some punches for BRT, I canít say this play succeeds at being witty, cathartic, or effective. A Raw Space needs to go back to the drafting table.
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Book of Mormon -CD
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Slings & Arrows-the complete set
You don't have to be a Shakespeare aficionado to love all 21 episodes of this hilarious and moving Canadian TV series about a fictional Shakespeare Company