reviewed by Paula Citron
Canadian Stage Company
Written by Morris Panych
Directed by Dean Paul Gibson
Starring Peter Anderson, Damien Atkins, Christopher Hunt, Melody A. Johnson and Rebecca Northan
At the Bluma Appel Theatre until Dec. 5.
The audience at Morris Panych’s 7 Stories literally roared with laughter. The dialogue is hilariously outrageous as a Magritte-style man in bowler hat and furled umbrella stands on a ledge contemplating suicide, while the narcissistic people in the various apartments conduct navel-gazing conversations with him, as if nothing were wrong.
There was also laughter 20 years ago when the play made its debut and announced a brave new voice in Canadian theatre. Bizarre situations as stand-ins for serious metaphors about life is Panych’s stock in trade. The play does not seem dated at all, given that our society has grown even more self-absorbed.
Kudos to Dean Paul Gibson who has directed with meticulous detail to make those windows in Ken MacDonald’s apartment in the clouds come to life. His clever physical theatre really helps the limited action. Peter Anderson as The Man leads a strong cast in their multiple roles.
7 Stories continues at the Bluma Appel Theatre until Dec. 5.