This is a review of Kim’s Convenience the theater play (very minor spoilers) but will also briefly mention some elements of the TV show for comparison, which I saw first. The play opened this past Wednesday and continues its engagement until March 19 in Montreal at the Segal Centre. It’s produced by Soulpepper, created & written by Ins Choi and directed by Weyni Mengesha with set & costume design by Ken Mackenzie.
Also as an aside, the theater play will make its US debut this July in New York!
The play starts off with Mr. Kim aka Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) walking into the store. If you’ve seen the TV show, he’s the familiar genial Appa with his jokes and accent but I would say there’s a bit more to him in the play, which is not restricted by TV rules. Much of the first act is comedy as he and his daughter Janet (Rosie Simon) clash and argue over various topics. There is early mention of a Walmart arriving soon and an offer to buy the convenience store from a customer. This is more background info as the main theme of the play is intergenerational conflict between parents and their adult children. Mrs. Kim aka Umma (Jean Yoon) appears from time to time often humming a tune. The fourth member of the family, Jung (Richard Lee), is however not around the store at all, having left the store/home many years previously due to a past incident.
One of the first arguments begins when Appa asks Janet to call 911 about an illegally parked Honda because it’s a Japanese car and he holds a grudge against Japan due to its past history of occupation of Korea. Later on when a customer with a Carribean accent comes into the store there’s an amusing confusion of different accents which leads into some race issues. Appa tries to “educate” Janet on which combinations of race, gender, sexuality will mean a customer is likely to steal. Some of these jokes will be familiar to TV show watchers but there are some differences. In fact, I find they work better in the play because unlike the TV show which tries to stretch some of these jokes into themes for an entire episode, they’re maybe one or two liners in the play.
Continue reading “Kim’s Convenience: Stage Play review [Recommended]”
Despite the popularity of Kpop in North America, shows are still uncommon on this continent although there are definitely more in USA than Canada. Even within the land of maple leaves and beavers music acts only go to the usual cities, Toronto and Vancouver. The last big Asian star I remember to headline their own show in Montreal was Eason Chan. There have been other acts in Montreal but usually part of a bigger festival or as opening acts for other bands like One OK Rock, BabyMetal (I regret missing that to this day) and Crayon Pop.
Much to my surprise, Hyuna will be performing in Montreal on Sunday, February 26 at 8pm at L’Olympia. She will also be touring the other Canadian cities (Vancouver on the 22nd and Toronto on the 24th before she comes to Montreal) and then USA. It’s organized by Kpopme.
Also local Kpop dance cover group East2West won the chance to perform as the opening act for Hyuna.
Continue reading “Hyuna – Live in Montreal – Kpopme”
Master is a Korean crime, action film starring Lee Byung-hun, Kang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin. They make for an impressive trio of top acting talent, young and older. It will open theatrically on January 6, 2017 at Cineplex Forum in Montreal and other cities in Canada & USA. For the full list of movie theaters, see CJ Entertainment’s website.
The Montreal International Documentary Festival / Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montreal (RIDM) will be running from November 10-20, 2016. Here are some of the East Asian & Asian American documentaries.
Gatekeeper by Yung Chang (Canada, Japan)
95 and 6 to go by Kimi Takesue (USA)
Continue reading “RIDM – Nov 10-20, 2016”
The Handmaiden opened on Friday October 28, 2016. It is currently playing in multiple cinemas in Montreal at both Cineplex Forum and Cinema du Parc in English. It’s playing in French at Cinema Beaubien. I’ve seen it and it’s great with its twists. It’s definitely best to go into the movie knowing nothing about the story. There are a few fairly explicit sex scenes and a gruesome torture scene. Park Chan-Wook is an amazing director and the cast are equally up to the task.
Continue reading “The Handmaiden in cinemas now!”
Le festival du nouveau cinema just released its schedule. In regards to East Asia, Japan is well represented with many features, a couple from China (one is listed under Hong Kong) and a couple from South Korea. In Southeat Asia, there are a few from the Philippines and Cambodia and Thailand each have one film.
Here are a few of my personal picks but be sure to check out the full lineup.
Continue reading “Festival du nouveau cinema – Oct 5-16, 2016”
Fantasia 2016, total films seen: 25
This year’s lineup of movies was very promising but the ones I looked forward to the most ended up being disappointing or just okay. But there were a couple of surprises that ended up being really great. Overall though, I’d say this was a good but not great year (like last year). I’d say the number of great films this year was less than most of the previous years. My main disappointment was the lack of films that resonated with me emotionally. However, in regards to just pure entertainment, I was satisfied by a few strong entries.
Continue reading “Fantasia 2016 festival in review”
Mini reviews of Heart Attack, The Wailing, The Throne, The Inerasable, Karaoke Crazies, The Phantom Detective, Assassination Classroom: Graduation, Lazy Hazy Crazy, A Violent Prosecutor, The Bodyguard, What a Wonderful Family!, and The Piper after the jump.
Continue reading “Fantasia 2016 mini reviews”