Lucky by Marie Barlizo revolves around a chance meeting between Sylvan, a skinhead and Nina, a high achieving, timid Filipina woman about to start medical school. We find the two of them post-coitus in Sylvan’s rather run down NDG apartment. When Sylvan takes off his shirt and reveals his tattoos, including a swastika and the phrase 1488, Nina confronts him about his past (“My psychology professor calls it disclosure therapy”). After a KKK-card carrier’s list of grievances, we learn that he has lost his crew to a new skinhead who is more exclusionary than he is, how he is estranged from both his girlfriend and daughter, and his job suspension.
Nina shares her own type-A, immigrant family problems. Sylvan found her standing at an overpass, contemplating jumping, and she reveals the cracks in her high pressure prison-like life. At this point in the show, I found myself a bit bored with what largely seemed like two stereotypical characters who hooked up, however unlikely, and would either come together or not.
But just wait for the “third act” when Nina’s boyfriend shows up. The show takes a twist and the plot tetris-es into something far more complex. Lucky becomes less of a lesson of type, and evolves into a good psychological thriller with a big feel. There are some plot problems (certainly in retrospect), but that doesn’t take away from the way this clever show plays with expectations about good guys, bad guys, and the tempting siren. Excellent acting by Jeremy Cabrera, Christian Jadah, and Katharine King definitely makes a difference.
Lucky continues at now at Too Close to the Sun Studio (5445 de Gaspé #408 Montreal) through June 17 as part of the St. Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival. For tickets, click HERE. Find out all shows and info at montrealfringe.ca. Montreal Rampage coverage of the Fringe Festival includes reviews of Greasy, Dance Side of the Moon, Buyer and Cellar, Don’t Read the Comments, and Rootless Tree.