The Arts Club Theatre Company is presenting the Canadian premiere of Martyna Majok’s acclaimed play Cost of Living. Directed by Arts Club Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cost of Living is on stage until November 3rd, at the Goldcorp Stage.
The drama follows the interaction of relationships between four characters; Eddie (Ashley Wright) an unemployed ‘everyman’ truck driver whose ex-wife Ani (Teal Sherer) is a quadriplegic resulting from a recent accident; while well-off graduate student John (Christopher Imbrosciano) has cerebral palsy and hires Jess (Bahareh Yaraghi) as his caregiver.
As expected in all relationships, miscommunications, missed connections, lack of communication, assumptions and stereotyping come to play. What could easily have been the “Cost of Getting-by”, Majok’s script and the 4 actors show that depending on circumstances, there are many ways to live, and no one has the right answers. It’s all how you roll with the punches.
With the abundance of stage time, Ashley Wright’s Eddie seems to have the most connection to the audience. His wife Ani is angry with her situation, seeming to blame everyone, taking a long time for her to bring down the walls. Whereas the other pair have no pre-existing relationship, they make assumptions of each other. We aren’t given much of John’s backstory, but as the play rolls on we find that Jess has just as many challenges to her life as her disabled client.
The creative set design by Drew Facey quickly provides for multiple simple locations and keeps the relationships separated until they finally cross over in the last scene. Presented without intermission, the scenes transition effortlessly, there are a few periods of slow pacing that felt longer than necessary but not enough to take away from what is a interesting examination on getting the most out of life.
Cost of Living plays until November 3, 2019 on The Arts Club Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre. Visit artsclub.com for showtime and tickets.