I Love nothing more than last minute invitations. I had intended to do something very “Montreal” and host a mini-hockey party. I was quite prepared. I had quality IPA and a projector streaming the game in HD when all of a sudden I was informed that BandMark had been invited to review the show Triplex Nervosa. Not a problem, and why not do both? I slipped out in a light sweater (the Centaur is very close to me) and left my hockey party to evolve on its own… Figuring I could check the score during intermission.

There I sat, at first anxiously trying to detach from Ottawa’s first goal, until the lights and actors lit up the stage. Within minutes I was very far away from HABS angst and immersed into a Mile End triplex thriving with local and multi-culture humor and charm. Marianne Ackerman has a way of laughing WITH people’s differences rather than AT them.  The set really has that authentic worn hardwood floor/old light fixture charm that is found in so many Mile End/Plateau apartments. One can almost smell the pot and pizza clichés present in a play about dreams, depression and above all neighbors uniting despite their differences. Patrick Watson’s music is used sparingly like an emotional elixir of melancholic and hopeful reflection. While we are visually transported into a world of casually dressed Mile Enders with various styles, we are on an audio adventure as well, through his past releases.

No stereotype was cast aside in this casting! The building owner, Tess really plays the struggling young building owner to perfection. With the indecision of an artist and impatience of a land lord we sympathize with her maxed out credit and implied long lost love story with a  mysterious Russian & Cello career..

Without giving too much of the story away, there is a ghost, a Hasidic man, an Eastern Euro handyman, a spoiled Westmount kid, a French Canadian cop, a Parisian man going through a messy divorce and a depressed father who lost his musician son Lonnie (ghost) to a drug overdose. You will have to go see the play to find out how all these characters merge onto each others life paths.

I forget how much I love the theater. Unlike movies & television where there is no creative effort needed on the viewer; a play transports you while allowing you to create the missing pieces, integrating illusion into a temporary reality. A really memorable part of this set-world, was when Tess and Rakie are in a car (a piece of wood floor lifted up with 2 front lights and an old fashioned steering wheel).  With the magic of light, sound and acting – we were brought into the car scene quite convincingly with such a simple prop.

The play runs until May 17th and is really worth seeing if you love Montreal for its good and its bad but most of all its unique melting pot of crazy artsy characters in the Mile-End. Get Tickets and join the Centaur Facebook to find out about other plays!