Intimate Apparel

Daren Herbert and Marci T. House in the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production of Intimate Apparel. Photo by David Cooper.

Last week I saw the Arts Club Theatre performance of Intimate Apparel, at the Granville Island Stage in Vancouver. This play is set in 1905 in New York City where, 35-year-old Esther is an independent African-American woman who makes a good living sewing exquisite undergarments and corsets for brides-to-be. But she yearns to wear one of her own creations. When a mysterious stranger from the Caribbean strikes up a pen-pal relationship, the romance that blooms promises to fulfill all her dreams.

The company’s actors tell the story with passion, the plot is fairly complex, lead actor Esther, played by Marci T. House is provided with room and board for close to 20 years by Mrs Dickson, played by Lesley Ewen. Esther has her friends write letters on her behalf because she cannot read to her pen-pal romancer George Armstrong played by Daren Herbert.  At the same time Esther frequents a fabric shop where the religious Jewish fabric man Mr. Marks, played by Jonathan Young is infactuated with Esther. You can see the tenseness between the two as well as the feelings deep down each has for one another. Mr. Marks has an arranged marriage in the wings, although deep down he is interested in Esther. George Armstrong arrives and is married to Esther and things aren’t so rosy as one had hoped or imagined.

The show is running until March 10, pick up some tickets and go and see this wonderful play.


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