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Unhappy husband and wife do battle in Fifty Words

~ In print and online all the time

Them’s fighting words Fifty Words

character likeable—mostly by making Jan a bitch. But a confession from Adam tips the balance. Poor little Greg. Nine years old. Hiding in nests of clothing in dark closets. Insecure. Unhappy parents. On the positive side, perhaps this night will bring Adam and Jan closer together. Maybe not. But “I’m your wife. Of course I want you to have secrets from me” doesn’t sound like a foundation upon which these two can sustain a lasting relationship. Fifty Words is a real slice of a life you’d rather not have. If you’ve already been there, you never want to go there again. Hip New York apartment set by John R. Taylor. Good performances, painful material. •••

At the Cultch until Nov. 5 Tickets: 604.251.1363

Reviewed by Jo Ledingham


3440 Cambie Street, 604-709-3456 The Ides of March: *FINAL WEEK MUST END NOV 10, 4:00, 7:00, 9:05 + Sun Nov 5, 1:45 Wagner’s Siegfried: Live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera, Nov 5, 9:00 am J. Edgar: Vancouver Sun Sunday Film Series – Free Breakfast w/ admission, Sun Nov 6, 10:00 am


3131 Arbutus Street, 604-738-6311 The Rum Diary: *NEW THIS WEEK, 4:00, 7:00, 9:30 + Sat & Sun 1:30, (No 7:00 & 9:30 Shows Nov 10) Queen of the Sun – What are the Bees Telling Us: *ONE SHOW ONLY, Thurs Nov 10, 7:00 - Presented by Farm Folk City Folk


1779 Comox Street, 604-558-3456 Dolphin Tale: Fri, Sat & Sun 12:00pm


1660 East Broadway, 604-879-3456 The Rum Diary: Daily 7:00 & 9:30 + Weekend Matinees 4:45 Midnight Cult Classic – V for Vendetta: Fri. Nov. 4, $10/$8 costume


88 West Pender, 3rd Floor, 604-806-0797 Footloose: Fri-Thurs 1:05, 4:05, 6:55, 9:35 Real Steel: Fri-Thurs 12:55, 3:50, 6:45, 9:50 Contagion: Fri-Sun 4:30, 10:00; Mon-Wed 1:20, 4:30, 7:30, 10:00; Thurs 1:20, 4:30, 10:00 Anonymous: Fri-Thurs 1:10, 4:15, 7:15, 10:25 The Help: Fri-Thurs 12:50, 3:55, 7:05, 10:15 Johnny English Reborn: Fri-Sun 1:15, 7:10; Mon-Thurs 1:15, 4:10, 7:10, 10:05; Wed 1:15, 4:10, 10:05 Moneyball: Fri-Thurs 12:45, 3:40, 6:40, 9:45 Drive: Fri-Thurs 1:35, 4:40, 7:35, 10:20 The Rum Diary: Fri-Thurs 1:25, 4:25, 7:25, 10:30 The Guard: Fri-Thurs 1:45, 4:20, 6:50, 9:40 Le Harvre: French w/subtitles, Fri-Thurs 1:30, 4:35, 7:00, 9:30 The Women on the 6th Floor: French w/ subtitles, Fri-Thurs 1:00, 4:00, 7:20, 10:10

November 4 - 10



2110 Burrard Street, 604-734-7469 The Skin I Live In: *NEW THIS WEEK, 1:30, 4:15, 7:15, 9:45 Martha Marcy May Marlene: 1:45, 4:30, 7:05, 9:20 Anonymous: 1:15, 4:00, 7:00, 9:35 The Guard: 2:00, 4:45, 7:25, 9:30 Moneyball: 1:00, 3:45, 6:50, 9:25 (No 6:50 Show Nov 9)

Sarah’s Key: Daily 2:20 Harry Potter: Fri-Tues 4:20 Midnight in Paris: Fri-Tues 7:00, Wed & Thurs 12:15pm & 4:20 Die: Fri–Tues 9:00 Cell 211: Fri & Sat 11:00pm, Mon & Tues 12:00pm

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage. That’s often the way it goes after a couple says those three little words to each other. What follows over the years are words, words, words—not all of them nice. Silence can be even worse. So, although Jan (Kirsten Robek) says there should be at least 50 words to describe the kinds of love (like the multitude of words for snow by dwellers of the frozen North), she’s having a hard time applying any of them to how she feels about her husband Adam (Aaron Craven) after about a decade of marriage. Michael Weller sets his play on the first evening Jan and Adam have had alone together in the nine years since their son Greg was born. Uh oh, there’s trouble right there. Nine years without some alone time? Even though Greg is exceptionally insecure (maybe a result of his overly anxious mother), don’t Jan and Adam know about babysitters? Adam has planned a romantic evening. He brought take-home food back to the apartment so Jan doesn’t have to cook. He bought champagne. Maybe they should light some candles, he suggests. “You know where they are,” Jan replies wearily. We know where this is going. What follows is every fight every couple on the cusp of a breakup has had: the accusations and revelations going all the way back to

Kirsten Robek and Aaron Craven verbally slug it out in Fifty Words. the beginning. Then make-up sex. Or break-up sex. Or just plain bad sex. John Murphy directs this Mitch and Murray Productions fight fest. Robek has the widest, brightest smile going and personal warmth to make you want to cozy up to her. But the playwright makes Jan an impossible character to like, who, after Adam does what he can to romance her, sits down at her laptop, leaving him to languish upstairs in the bedroom. Adam sums it up neatly when he suggests Jan let him know what might be “a mutually convenient time to copulate.” But even though playwright Weller tips the scales in favour of Adam with his quick sense of humour and apparent desire to make the marriage work, Adam’s no saint. Craven makes his

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Notes from The Drive

Halloween came early on Commercial Drive. Zombies jostled Lady Gagas, witches hung out with fairies—and these were adults—last Saturday night when I caught fellow critic Jerry Wasserman’s performance in Asymmetry. The patio with overhead heaters was packed, the sidewalks were spilling over into the street and parking was at a premium. There’s always a buzz on Commercial whether you’re buying bulk calamata olives, Portuguese buns, B.C. apples or going to Havana theatre—known for its edgy, short run plays—that’s tucked in behind the bustling Havana Café. If Wasserman’s UBC students have any desire to see him exchange his academic gown for a sexy blue dressing gown, it’s too late; Asymmetry closed last weekend. Produced by reality curve theatre, it was a scorcher.

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Vancouver Courier November 4 2011  
Vancouver Courier November 4 2011  

Vancouver Courier November 4 2011