It's not often these days I get to go to the theatre.I mean the theatre as opposed to the cinema.The other day my friend Paul sends me an email asking if I'd like to help out at the door of his latest production The 21st Floor.

Performances are at the PAL (Performing Arts Lodge) Theatre down on Cardero Street, which is not far from home, so of course I say yes.

And I'm curious.

All the actors are part of the Lyric Stage Project ensemble. I've heard nothing but good things about Lyric.

We settle into our seats and I'm immediately impressed by the set design.

The actors are already on stage. No big entrances to tell you they're starting. You're already engaged.

One hardly notices the dimming of the lights that indicates the beginning of the play.

They move through their scenes with precision and flow that never stops, regardless of who's in the spotlight. At times they may leave the building (literally), but they clearly want you to stay.

It's like you're a fly on the wall, only you've got a bird's eye view into eight different apartments... and one closet. You're voyeurs into worlds familiar and strange, raw and exposed. A little uncomfortable at times, yet it's hard to take your eyes away.

Actor Matt Ward is the only cast member not given a title in the play. It's up to the audience to determine who he is and why he's there. His entrances and exits are precision, and the “life force” of the play.

After the show we mingle in the lounge outside of the theatre, and one by one the cast and crew come out to greet us. They shake our hands, ask our names and thank us for coming. Impressive!
It's a little surprising to see how young they are. You certainly wouldn't have guessed it from the maturity of their performances.

Youth is definitely not wasted on the young here. Brave, fearless, and some serious talent, see them while you can. Broadway beckons!

*Rhis show is rated PG 13
contains strong language, scenes of violence, nudity, and sexuality. Occasional loud noise.
Show length is 90 minutes with no intermission.

Performances of The 21st Floor run Tuesday through Saturday, November 11th to 22nd
PAL Theatre, 581 Cardero Street, Vancouver.
Reserve tickets online at www.ticketstonight.ca
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