Arts Club's Theatre with a View: The Game of Love and Chance

The Game of Love and Chance
by Pierre Marivaux
Set & Costumes: Ken MacDonald
Director: Morris Panych
Now playing till Jan 10, 1998. Reservations: Arts Club Theatre, 687-1644 or Ticketmaster, 280-3311.


by Anthony McGrann

With the busy holiday season surrounding us, there are a myriad of choices of live entertainment. With so many choices competing for an audience, one needs to either produce a show that is highly entertaining or one that will draw a person out from their busy schedule to attend such an event. The Game of Love and Chance, however, does neither.

The only most memorable element of the play is the set: a whimsical, yet simple set that suggests a playful tone. The play starts off wonderfully as a small screen descends and, like the beginning of a film, the credits of cast and production are shown. Sillhouettes are also cast in a playful manner to suggest that this is going to be a show full of fun and frivolity.

There is nothing wrong with "fluff" in theatre. Why do we go to the theatre? To be entertained, isn't it? Not every play needs to send the audience away with a deep thought in social conscience. Nevertheless, this play doesn't succeed as a farce. It isn't that funny.

A play which involves role reversals to achieve its comedy, involving characters who at times turn directly to the audience and apologize for its unbelievable plot, isn't harmful. In fact, even with an unrealistic plot, the play has potential. The problem, however, lies mostly with the cast.

There was a lack of energy and the characters didn't really connect with each other. Part of that fault lies in the direction. The intention may have been deliberate, having the cast overact, but the result was not successful.

Although off to a slow start, Nicole Robert who played Lisette, the maid, did manage to dig deep for that physical energy so desperately needed in this play. Also worth mentioning were Gary Jones who played Arlecchino, the chauffeur, and Leslie Jones ( Silvia, the socialite). They were fun to watch as their energy increased through the play, supporting the weaker cast members.

There are many different games out there this holiday season, and although this one had some potential, I would suggest some others.