Kim’s Convenience

A new play by a first time playwright, and what a beginning! Let’s hope this is not just a one time wonder, but the beginning of a great career.
Ins Choi is an actor who is also at the beginning of his career, but writing may take him off the stage.
Another play about the immigrant experience, this time definitely set in Toronto and now dealing with the inter-generational conflict. The parents have struggled to give their children opportunities, but then are not sure they like what the kids choose to do with those opportunities.
The convenience store is familiar to all of us and the family dynamics ring true. Paul Sun-Hyung Lee is outstanding as the father Appa. He is funny, racist and loving. He struggles to decide what to do with the store – if he sells to a developer and retires, what will become of his story?
The scene in which he decides to train his daughter Janet (Esther Jun) to take over the store is hilarious. The scene in which he give the store to his prodigal son ( Ins Choi) is moving.
Two other scenes are worth mention. The one in which mother (Jean Yoon) and son meet in the church demonstrates the beauty of the set. A church appears where there was no church, just a convenience store. Lighting and design are superbly used. And it is hard to discuss this play without mentioning Cle Bennett who plays four roles. The marriage proposal scene is hilarious!
One of the strengths of this play is the way in which it moves from funny, to sad to philosophical, but always manages to seem real. The resolution is satisfying because the author has made you care enough about the people that you want a happy ending for everyone.
Definitely worth the standing ovation it got.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Cle Bennett, Esther Jun, Ins Choi, Jean Yoon, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Soulpepper 2012. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Kim’s Convenience

  1. Keith says:

    Now, unlike the previous evening (The Golden Dragon), this play I enjoyed. It felt fully formed, unlike some of the new plays we see which appear to be more character sketches for some future work.It is an excellent exploration of the immigrant experience and the interaction between generations, but in a form that is both entertaining (very funny at times) and made me care about the individuals – as individuals, not just representatives of a group.You could argue that it is a bit sentimental, but so am I; so that's okay.Great. Very enjoyable.

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