Nick was really excited for us to go see this play. I honestly went into this one with a sack full of blind faith and boy oh boy Nick's recommendations are never wrong.
The play takes place in a little convenience store in Regent Park, Toronto (1980). Amidst the rise of new condos and rebranding of the area, a small convenience store called Kim's Convenience stands in the neighborhood. Mr. Kim (Appa), owner of Kim's Convenience, is offered a large sum of money to sell his store so corporations can replace and rebuild over it as a part of Regent Park's makeover. He struggles with the decision, as all he wanted was for his kids to take over the store. However, his oldest son, Jung, left home after an argument with his father about 15 years ago. His daughter, Janet, wants to pursue a career in photography.
Ah yes, a classic internal and external family issue that ties into something bigger. Kim's Convenience is a comedy but it is also really relatable, especially to me, a child of immigrant parents.
The message I got was...
Parents will do anything for their children.
Man, I feel like a little spoiled bitch. After watching that play, I emerged with bite marks on my fingers. I bit myself to keep myself from crying. When Appa and Janet argued about who owed who what. The little monologue from Appa when he finally admitted that he didn't want Janet to take over the store and that he wanted her to pursue her own happiness. The hug at the door. When Appa finally cried when Jung came home and expressed his wish to take over the store. I'm so happy my parents finally understand what I want to do in the future. I am so happy they let me go into RTA and that they're not bothering me to go into math, science and/or business.
My parents worked hard to ensure a good life for my sister and I. I promise I will never take them for granted ever again.
The most beautiful and painful part was...
The transition between Umma and Jung at the church to the flashback of Appa and Umma at their new store to the end of the flashback, back to present day.
In technical terms, the lighting was beautiful during the church and flashback scene. The sombre blue really matched the mood between Umma and Jung as he explained his unhappiness to his mother. As she crossed the threshold back to the convenience store, there were two harsh lights on Appa and Umma. After that flashback, the lighting reverted back to its original convenience store lighting.
The flashback hit me so hard. The expressions on Umma and Appa 32 years ago were full of hope and potential. They had so much excitement for the future. They were so proud. As soon as the flashback ended, they immediately slumped into their present day position, full of stress and fatigue.
The flashback reminded me of my parents. I guess it really applies to everyone because everyone ages; it is inevitable. But the drainage and lack of energy really reminded me that people grow old and it's important to cherish them when they're still here. It got me thinking about my parents and all the sacrifices they had to make for me.