In Between by Matt Austin, directed by Matt Hilliard-Forde, with Austin, Shannon Barnett, Michael Facciolo, Samantha Gutstadt, PJ Lazic, Caroline Lesley, Andre Noble, Lenny Panzer, Kelsey Matheson, Matt Lemche and Zachary Cox. Presented by the Young Company at the Centre for the Arts (129 Spadina). Runs to June 21, Thursday-Monday 8 pm, late night Saturday 10:30 pm. $15, Sunday pwyc. 647-436-2787. Rating: NN Rating: NN
In Between is an apt title for the show that's currently taking up much of a basement on Spadina.
The cast is somewhere in between naive and inspired; the writer is somewhere in between derivative and original; and the audience is somewhere in between bored and intrigued.
If you look at it as a theatre exercise by a young company trying to make a mark, this one-hour series of vignettes in a subway car seems inoffensive enough. It would fit into the Fringe just fine. It's not too long. The situations and setting, though not as creepily suggestive of the TTC as last season's Russell Hill, seem familiar enough. (Two points: when do you see only 20-somethings, all white ones at that, get on and off a subway car? And what stations are we travelling between? Eglinton and Lawrence? The stops seem to take forever.)
Playwright Matt Austin 's dialogue - the play consists mostly of conversations between two people - occasionally generates sparks, but there's a sameness to much of the material. And you know he's trying really hard to capture some angsty message about what happens in between moments or encounters.
Matt Hilliard-Forde stages the piece effectively enough, though the sightlines are bad and he could learn a thing or two about ambience from site-specific companies like bluemouth inc.
The actors are watchable, especially Caroline Lesley , whose nervous tics and generous performance help create a sharp, tightly wound portrait of urban alienation. Andre Noble and writer Austin also stand out in a scene about two actors taking improvising a bit too seriously.