Soulpepper's "A Raisin in the Sun"Since this year's Soulpepper program was announced, Rondi has raved to me about the movie made from this play. so we went tonight. The play was great, the performances superb, causing tears to well up in just the right places - just a fine theatrical experience, but for one unprecedented thing in all my years of theatre-going.
My ticket said the play would start at 7:30. At 7:35 (long past the point where I am accustomed to a play supposedly scheduled for 7:30 starting) rows 5 and 6 of the orchestra below me were empty and we were sharing odd theories of what was going on. Another five minutes later an army of dressed-up folks, in pinstripe suits and wrapped in dead animals, filed in to fill those seats slowly, with no particular concern for the fact that a couple of hundred other people had been sitting and waiting long beyond an announced start time.
So look! - I do understand how private parties probably contribute significantly to Soulpepper's bottom line, and I care about that bottom line. But the private party COULD conceivably be informed that the start time is the start time, and no they cannot have another round of drinks. Soulpepper chose to treat all of us who had got into our seats on time with UTTER contempt by holding up the start by almost 15 minutes to accommodate some people who cannot check their watches.
I have NEVER experienced the like in all my very many years of theatre-going. I doubt I am quite ready to boycott Soulpepper, but one more repetition and I probably will. If they have so little regard for their normal customers (and I am not quite normal - I see almost every production, and many of them several times) I cannot see why I should maintain my regard for them, despite the intrinsic quality.
In the intermission we found what the private party was - at first I thought I had seen John Tory and suspected the Conservative party of Ontario. Instead, it turned out it was a TD Securities function (interesting that they can have such in these times). I have thought of switching my finances from my current host to TD in the last years - not a f***ing chance now ever.
But the play and production are great - go see it, but call in advance to see if there is some private party planning to nullify any notion of what the start time will be! Actually - maybe you should skip the show and rent the DVD of the movie - you can start it whenever you want.