The play follows a young woman who has maxed out her credit cards and put a promising music career on hold to buy a triplex in Montreal’s trendy Mile End, only to find that the charming but stubborn Hassidic previous owner and her motley crew of tenants won’t co-operate with her needs. When she and her handy-man conspire to make one particularly difficult tenant’s life less comfortable, things go terribly wrong.
Burke explains: “the triplex, designed by James Lavoie as all existing on one level with a door apiece for the three floors, is peopled with a wacky array of characters, whether they be renting, squatting, visiting, or investigating a possible murder.”
Moreover, the play has a prominent musical component and includes the music of Mile End musician Patrick Watson.
“Director Roy Surette soaks the production in the plangent ballads of Mile End musician Patrick Watson which, as well as standing in for Lonnie’s songs, act like keening laments for the young man’s lost potential. Watson’s music makes for an intriguing contrast with the mood of the play”
In addressing the play’s mood and characters, Burke explains its feel-good confection: the ability to embrace the comedic genre all the while offering characters which are rounded and well-crafted.
“Triplex Nervosa is a big-hearted feel-good confection that has real affection for its characters. If Daniel Brochu’s Aaron Klein starts out like a stage Fagin, he finishes as far more rounded while still, in Brochu’s lively performance, retaining some enjoyable comic tics. And Cat Lemieux’s Sgt. Tremblay is a real hoot, whether disconnectedly grilling suspects in bad-tempered Québécoise or bagging leftover pizza as “evidence.””
Furthermore, he explains that there is a strong artistic component in the play, which comes out alongside the many humorous scenes.
“Ackerman comes down on the side of art, and there’s a nice coup de theatre which literally places the means to pursue this end in Tass’s hands. If it seems like implausible wish-fulfilment, it does at least suggest that Mile End is still a place where artists can dream.”
Triplex Nervosa will be running at the Centaur Theatre until May 17th. Cost of tickets: $27- $49.50
Click here to read Jim Burke’s full review of Triplex Nervosa