By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
If the last two years have taught us anything it’s that art will prevail. And so will Art, the, er, art-ful 1994 Yasmina Reza hit comedy that is L’UniThéâtre’s season finale.
Last Friday night’s storm and the sewer back-up that followed have meant that the theatre at La Cité francophone, L’UniThéâtre’s home base, is unusable for the time being. Josée Thibeault’s production of Art will open Wednesday and run through Saturday, exactly as scheduled. But there’s been a last-minute change of venue: Art will happen instead at the Gateway, Workshop West’s new theatre in Old Strathcona.
“We were just finalizing the set,” sighs L’UniThéâtre artistic director Steve Jodoin, who’s a member of the three-actor cast. Since Jonathan Beaudoin’s design for the play involved walls (the location is an apartment) and they’d been built onstage, they couldn’t be moved. So a play about the reaction of three friends to a minimalist white-on-white painting just got more minimalist, in the production re-worked for its run at the Gateway.
“No walls….That works!” says Jodoin, of a play, returned to its original French (with English subtitles), in which a three-way friendship fractures spectacularly over modern art, and the big money laid down by one of them for an all-white canvas by a famous artist.
He notes that the occupants of La Cité, including Le Café Bicyclette, have been given “a 10-day window,” with reassessment then about the timeline for repairing the damages. La Cité’s patio and wedding season schedule are on hold; the busy Fringe season awaits.
Art, starring Steve Jodoin, Bernard Salva and François Pageau, runs Wednesday through Saturday at the Gateway Theatre, 8529 Gateway Blvd. Tickets: lunitheatre.ca