Kim’s Convenience returns to the stage

The Kim’s are back! The Grand Theatre presents Kim’s Convenience from Oct. 17 to Nov. 4.

Kim’s Convenience is a Canadian classic, likely best known as a TV series which aired for five seasons from 2016 to 2021 on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). This fall, Kim’s Convenience goes back to its roots.

For those who don’t know, Kim’s Convenience started off as a play before it became the hit sitcom that most people know it to be. Twelve years later, writer Ins Choi, takes the play that sparked his career to The Grand Theatre. From Oct. 17 to Nov. 4, this 90-minute play will commence on the Spriet Stage starring Choi himself.

Director, Esther Jun, explained that the beauty of Kim’s Convenience is how oftentimes, mindless interactions take place without stopping to think about what really goes on in other people’s lives.

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“There’s something about Kim’s Convenience where you’re a fly on the wall and you see all of humanity actually happen in this one day,” Jun said.

Interestingly, Jun originated the role of Janet at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2011. Coming back as the director instead has given her greater insight at looking at the play through another lens.

“I can take a step back in a different way than when I was an actor and really just see how this story is so generational,” Jun said.

This relatable and funny production will have something that everyone (but especially immigrants) can relate to. Life can throw many hurdles at you and this play showcases both the hard times and the good times even when it’s not so glamorous.

Kim’s Convenience is a love letter to immigrant parents,” Jun said. “It’s about their hopes and dreams and what they have sacrificed for us to have more opportunities and a better life.”

Vicki Kim, the actress playing the role of Umma (which translates to “Mother” in Korean), expressed that this role basically chose her. After auditioning for Janet in various ways, Kim never really felt like it was her. It was only when she was asked to audition for Umma that she realized that she had been Umma the entire time.

According to Kim, Umma is the matriarch and the heart of the Kim family. Her role involves looking after everyone and making sure they are in her words happy and loved.

Appa, which translates to “Father” in Korean, is the role that Choi will be playing. The father of two children and the proud proprietor of the convenience store, will share his story as he showcases his life to the audience, highlighting the aches and pains of his ever-changing neighbourhood.

The Toronto-based convenience store gained popularity because of the show and is recognized as a tourist attraction. Located on the corner property of 252 Queen St. E. you can find this iconic convenience store that the play is written about.

This play is sure to be filled with laughter, but also demonstrates an uncut version of real life. Purchase tickets now at the Grand’s website.