Richard Gélinas and Gabrielle Lazarovitz star in Stéphanie Turple’s Bankrupt, a comedy about a near-destitute flight attendant who turns to prostitution to avoid bankruptcy.
Should you see it?
What audiences think of Bankrupt
Anna (Gabrielle Lazarovitz) is a 26-year-old near-destitute flight attendant with a devil-may-care attitude towards money and a penchant for the finer things in life. James Larson (Richard Gélinas) is a middle-aged divorcee and ruined business owner turned bankruptcy trustee. In an attempt to get her mounting debts under control, Anna visits James with the intention of filing for bankruptcy. However, after James gives her the hard truth – that filing for bankruptcy doesn’t absolve you of your debts – Anna turns to another option to address her money troubles and maintain her high-roller lifestyle: prostitution.
With a new wardrobe of classy lingerie, Anna is ready for her first shift on the path to quick money and financial stability. But her seemingly straightforward plan gets complicated when the doorbell rings and she meets her first client.
Under the direction of Kevin Orr, the performances were fairly strong. Returning from a long hiatus from the stage, Diego Arvelo nailed the part of James Larson’s son, Juan. Teri Loretto-Valentik also stood out with her humorous depiction of James’s sexually confused ex-wife, Miranda. However, despite the strong performances, the comedic potential of this production felt unfulfilled, with the delivery of some of the jokes falling flat.
Technically speaking, the production went off without a hitch. There were a lot of technical elements that could have gone awry were it not for the production team’s diligence. For instance, the projection of quotes on the rear curtain always appeared on cue. The team also did a great job maintaining flow, with costume changes often done on stage so as to avoid a lull in the action. (The costumes themselves, designed by Vanessa Imeson, were beautiful.) In addition, the music, written by Ottawa-local band The PepTides, was cleverly used during set changes to help each scene transition smoothly (although the relevance of each number to Bankrupt’s overall plot felt minimal at best).
Although I feel the play didn’t reach its full comedic potential, the show was entertaining and clearly well-rehearsed with everyone involved doing exactly what they needed to do when they needed to do it.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you thought. What did you think about the comedic quality? Were you impressed by the production team’s work? Join the discussion and let me know in the comments below.