Written and directed by Brad Fraser
Through November 1st
Factory Theatre

Reviewed by Robin Breon

Marking its 40th anniversary season, Factory Theatre is launching new work by leading Canadian playwrights including Michel Marc, George F. Walker, ahdri zhina mandiela, Kevin Loring and of course Brad Fraser whose play, True Love Lies is the strong season opener.

Fraser's story of a dysfunctional contemporary family looks backward to sexing it up in the city as the stuff of good old cable sitcom (a comparison used by more than one reviewer) and not much more. But while a situational show like Sex and the City will, in the end, always default to the heterosexual side of the ledger, despite any titillating gay, lesbian, bi or transgendered hanky-panky in between, Fraser's protagonists will generally default to the gay side of life. That's about the extent of the boundary pushing which might be considered progressive. So when the play opens in the home of husband and wife, Kane (Ashley Wright) and Carolyn (Julia Stewart) Sawatsky with their two older kids Royce (Andrew Craig) and Madison (Susanna Fournier), you just kind of know that it's all heading off the rails very soon.

And the main reason it doesn't take very long to get entirely out of control is because everyone is talking so fast. Dear god, if I had to speak as fast as these actors do in a scene at the dinner table I'd be exhausted half way through the meal. Mr. Fraser also directs this production and obviously knows where the longueurs are embedded since it was produced very successfully in the U.K. last year. One gets the feeling that he just wants to keep it all moving along swiftly to the next good punch line - of which there are quite a few by the way.

Julie Stewart, who is just coming off a terrific turn over the summer in The Blonde, the Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead at the Thousand Islands Playhouse, plays Carolyn Sawatsky, the wife of a man who was gay then straight for 20 years and now just doesn't know anymore; mother to a daughter who is sexually adventurous in kinky ways that sells theatre tickets; and a son who is nerdy, confused about his sexuality and mad at the world -- in other words, all very recognizable.

Add to this David (David W. Keeley), the amenable, handsome, hard working restaurateur who just has them all licking their chops. Well, I'll say no more. The entrees are all good -- place your order and enjoy the meal.

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