BWW Review: Ok, KIM'S CONVENIENCE Will See You on Tour This Month!
From March 3rd to 8th, KIM'S CONVENIENCE played at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam. Presented by the Arts Club Theatre Company: ON TOUR, the play had the audience roaring with laughter with this 70-minute show. As this play acted as the inspiration behind the hit CBC television series: Kim's Convenience, this stage production was very popular leading to many sold out shows during its week in Coquitlam. KIM'S CONVENIENCE plays next in Chilliwack at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 11th followed by the ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge on March 12th and 13th.
Written by Toronto-born writer, Ins Choi, KIM'S CONVENIENCE tells the story of a Korean-Canadian family (The Kim's) living in Toronto. This family owns a convenience store, which is the spot where most of the play takes place. Appa runs the store everyday with the help of his wife, Umma. Janet, their daughter, is an aspiring photographer who helps out with the store from time to time. Appa and Umma also have a son named Jung who left home at an early age after an aggressive fight with Appa. Jung is estranged from both Appa and Janet, but remains in contact with Umma at church gatherings. Throughout the play, we learn more about the dynamics of the Kim family and the deep-rooted issues that exist between them.
I really enjoyed the show because of how relatable the story was. Janet faced criticism from her parents about pursuing a career in photography. With the dreams of Janet becoming a doctor or lawyer crushed, Appa often made offhand comments about Janet's choice to pursue what she loved. I would say the uncertainty of finding a job after post-secondary education is something that many students struggle with everyday. I admire Janet for holding her ground and doing what made her happy. Success is never guaranteed; however, hard work will definitely get you far. Jung struggled to reconcile with his family after a blowout argument with his dad when he was young. Forgiving and forgetting is hard to do. What I really loved about Jung's storyline was that it showed a lot of emotional evolution and showed how strong love could be no matter what the circumstance. It is never to late to reconnect.
Kaitlin Williams did an excellent job of directing the show. It was beautifully put together and flowed really well. I don't have anything negative to say about it. The set designed by Carolyn Rapanos was a perfect depiction of a Canadian convenience store. The highlight of this entire production was the incredible cast composed of James Yi (Appa), Maki Yi (Umma), Jessie Liang (Janet), Howie Lai (Jung), and Andrew Creightney (Rich, Mr. Lee, Mike, Alex).
James Yi gave the most outstanding performance of the show as Appa. Having watched the TV show and having Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (TV show Appa) as one of my favorite actors in it, I had high expectations of what Yi would bring to his portrayal of Appa. I was not disappointed and admired how Yi approached the character in his own way. Yi's Appa was definitely more firm, but very genuine during his compassionate moments. I enjoyed his playfulness in his conversations with Janet and his consistence with Appa's overall persona. Yi was the glue that held this show together.
KIM'S CONVEINENCE was an excellent production to see. It is the perfect mixture of both comedy and drama and I highly recommend this show to everyone. Tickets are selling out fast so definitely get your hands on some while you can! KIM'S CONVEINENCE will play next in Chilliwack at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 11th. Tickets are available at https://artsclub.com/shows/on-tour/2019-2020/kims-convenience or by calling the box office at 604-687-1644.
Photo Credit: David Cooper, 2020
Chilliwack at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 11th
Maple Ridge at the ACT Arts Centre on March 12th and 13th
Burnaby at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts on March 14th and 15th (SOLD OUT)
Kelowna at the Kelowna Community Theatre on March 17th
Cranbrook at the Key City Theatre on March 19th
Revelstoke at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on March 21st
Nanaimo at the Port Theatre on March 25th
Duncan at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 28th