BWW Review: IT'S ALL TRU is an Intimate Lesson in Sexual Health
"HIV...You mean, AIDS?" Presented by The Cabaret Company, as part of the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 2016-2017 season, IT'S ALL TRU examines the misconceptions surrounding HIV, preventative therapies and how it relates to the law. Written and directed by Sky Gilbert, the play is an intelligent, intimate glimpse into a sensitive subject.
The play, for the most part, takes place in the living room of Kurt (Tim Post) and Travis (David Coomber). They're a happy couple, bickering endearingly as they discuss their wedding plans - that is, until Travis admits to a recent, risky one-night stand with another man, Gideon (Caleb Olivieri).
Sky Gilbert's writing is genuinely lifelike, raising modern concerns and featuring conversations that occur far too infrequently. Gilbert's characters are well-defined - each of the three characters are written with very distinct styles of speech. Kurt speaks with a balanced, thoughtful pace. Gideon's speech is rushed and spastic. Travis is direct and sarcastic. These happen to be excellent representations of their personalities as well.
The set, designed by Denise Lisson, is clean, modern and monochromatic. Classical music (Vivaldi?) is played between the scenes, adding elegance to an already sophisticated atmosphere and contrasting themes that are often considered "taboo" or "dirty". The play is skilled at contrasting, in a way that challenges preconceived values and beliefs.
Tim Post plays Kurt with convincing authority. His booming baritone voice is lovely to listen to, especially in his powerful monologue near the end of the play. David Coomber's character is written with so much sass - and he plays sass very naturally - but he is the most impressive in his silent reactions. His jaw tightens and he's an engaged listener (often more of a challenge than delivering lines). Caleb Olivieri raises the stakes with his portrayal of Gideon. Olivieri is a skilled actor, forcing you to sympathize with his character by the end of the play.
The plot drags a bit in the middle, the arguments become a tad repetitive - but the message conveyed is important. IT'S ALL TRU is a thought provoking examination of sexual health issues. By the end of the play, I was questioning my perspectives on the subject and left more knowledgeable - I have a feeling that was Sky Gilbert's plan.
IT'S ALL TRU is presented by The Cabaret Company and runs through May 14, 2017 at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.
For more information and to purchase tickets visit buddiesinbadtimes.com or call 416.975.8555
(photo credit: Seanna Kennedy)