See the ‘beautiful… tart and melancholy’ play by North Van-raised House of Cards writer

In the mood for a romantic comedy? How about an “un-romantic” comedy?

Written by former Vancouverite (and current House of Cards showrunner) Melissa James Gibson, THIS was called a “beautiful new play” by the New York Times when it opened in 2009. Now, local company Kindred Entertainment is bringing THIS to Gibson’s hometown for a run that begins tonight (April 26) and ends May 5 at Studio 16 (1555 W. 7th Ave.).

Find out more below.

According to the media release, “THIS examines urban existence in midlife, including parenthood, loneliness, loss, and adultery. In the play, Jane is a widowed mother whose witty and well-meaning friends try to fix her up with an eligible bachelor.”

Christopher Isherwood’s 2009 New York Times review calls THIS a “tart, melancholy comedy about a group of close friends entering the choppy waters of middle age…”

The review goes on to say that the Gibson “has such boundless affection for language that even the drabbest constellations of vowels and consonants — words like ‘this,’ in other words — are made to soar and leap like ballet dancers in full, ecstatic flight, or alternately stand alone in a sea of silence, ominous and resonant, like those pregnant pauses in a Pinter play.

“The author of the quirky, cult-appeal comedies ‘[sic]’ and ‘Suitcase,’… Ms. Gibson graduates into the theatrical big leagues with this beautifully conceived, confidently executed and wholly accessible work, which is not just her finest to date but also the best new play to open Off Broadway this fall.”

THIS stars several names familiar to Canadian TV and theatre audiences, including Loretta Walsh (When Calls the Heart), Benjamin Ratner (Wonder, Da Vinci’s City Hall),, Zak Santiago (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The X-Files), Brad Dryborough (Prodigal Dad, A Christmas to Remember), and Karen Holness (Make It Pop, Chicago).

The cast of Kindred Entertainment’s production of THIS.

Gibson, who was born in Ottawa but grew up in North Vancouver, is now based in New York. In 2012 she told the Globe and Mail, “For me, the best writing comes from grappling with something – often on a very unconscious level – grappling with something on the page. I’m definitely attracted to writing that really sits on the edge of comic and deeply painful. That, to me, is where life exists most fully. So that’s the edge I’m most attracted to exploring.”


When: April 26-May 5
Where: Studio 16, 1555 West 7th Ave
Tickets: $25/$33 at$30/$40 at the door
Sunday April 29 matinee – pay what you can
Tuesday May 1 – two tickets for $40 ($20 each)

Tagged: ,

Comments are closed for this post

Comments are closed.