Last Monday, I was invited to see “Monday Nights” at Theatre Centre in the West Queen West area. Despite it’s name, this show does not only play on Monday Nights (I totally checked this out before seeing the show).
In it’s second-run, this interactive play is about 4 basketball players in Toronto. They play every Monday night in the summer at Bathurst and Queens Quay until the lights went off and this play is about their story.
When I first heard about it, I didn’t fully understand what “interactive and choose your own adventure” could mean in a play but they made it happen, one note even said to wear comfy shoes. I was sure that I was not going to be talked into playing any basketball but there’s something about that crowd atmosphere that makes you do things you wouldn’t have thought of (I was terrible by the way, but regret nothing).
The play starts with you entering a room and listening to headphones at different team’s stations, that’s how you decide which team you’re on. Team Blue had Feel So Good by Mase playing, so naturally I picked that team (although the team playing “Ain’t No Mountain High” came in a close second. Once we got our seats, our “team captain” came out. We kept the headphones on to learn the back stories of the team captains, ours and others. Each team was hearing a different version of the story – it was funny when other teams would laugh at times but you would have no idea why. And then it was time to play ball! (that may be more of a baseball thing).
I volunteered as scorekeeper – assuming that would mean I wouldn’t touch a basketball – I was wrong and again, I was terrible but all in good fun. The show then became more of a basketball game – which is really hard to describe in the context of a play but somehow it worked. We competed against the other teams in a series of basketball challenges – and all of them involved members of the audience. We cheered our teams on, working together against the other teams. It was definitely interactive and definitely different.
Monday Nights is all about being brave enough to step out of your comfort zone, making wishes and following your dreams. There’s still time to see Monday Nights and this Sunday is PWYC. I’d recommend this show for theatre fans as well as basketball fans (the kids at the show seemed to love it).
Have you been to an interactive play before? What did you think?