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Thu Jun 1, 2006 Miss Vicky 

The Webgeek and I went to the preview of the GCTC's latest show, Yasmina Reza's Life x 3, on Tuesday. It was a hot and steamy night - especially after our cycle down Gladstone. The perfect atmoshpere for the hot and steamy conflicts around which this play revolves. I don't mean hot and steamy in a sexy way - I mean a prickly, prone-to-outburst, don't-push-me-to-the-brink-or-I'll-explode way.

The play provides three possible outcomes of a dinner party gone horribly awry, each reflecting a different cosmological approach (what else would you expect when theoretical astronomers get together?). Each version gives us different glimpses into the characters' personalities and how they might respond to life's often surprising upsets. It's extremely well acted; all four cast members give solid performances, which made up for the occasionally stilted dialogue that you get sometimes when you're working with translated texts. It's a fast, funny play with a lot to sink your teeth into. I think I've enjoyed it the most of all the productions I've seen this year.

The great thing about live theatre is that things can go wrong, for reasons beyond the control of the performers or stage crew. Even the lighting design underscored the point of humanity's inability to control the unpredictable forces of the universe. Not intentionally, of course. The combination of a crowded theatre and record-breaking temperatures outside overheated the projector the GCTC was using for the very simple set - a series of astronomical images projected on a screen behind the actors. Midway through the last scene, a box popped up on the middle of the screen warning the projector was overheated and needed to be turned off. Unintentional pathetic fallacy - meltdown during meltdown? It was distracting, yet strangely fitting. And it gave us something to talk about on the steamy bike ride home.

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