Review: Spent (Theatre Smith-Gilmour, Why Not Theatre and TheatreRUN in association with Young Centre for the Performing Arts)

Spent, playing at Toronto’s Young Centre for the Performing Arts is a theatrical look at the 2008 market crash through a comedic lens

I spent a rainy Valentine’s Day in the Distillery district eating mussels and oysters and watching a theatre show. The show was planned, everything else just seem to fit in nicely around it. My husband and I watched Spent at the Young Centre. A show I had wanted to watch since it first opened in 2010. And it was definitely worth the wait!

In the last couple of years Spent has been performed all over the world by Ravi Jain and Adam Paolozza. Two absolutely hilarious guys who play over 20 characters and put on at least a dozen different convincing accents. The show looks at the economic market crash of 2008 through a comedic lens. It’s subject matter that unfortunately most of us can relate to.

This show is fun from the moment it gets started and doesn’t let up for a second during the 70-minute run. I thought the pace of the piece was perfect. Jain and Paolozza are so full of energy, they seem to bounce from one end of the stage to the other. There are no props or sets or costume changes. It’s just two guys on a bare stage with an exposed brick wall behind them dressed in – I want to say cheap Polyester – suits.

Luckily, the show is so smart and well written you don’t need much else. This is my favourite kind of show, where the talent and the script are so bang on you need little else to distract you from the heart of the action.

The subject matter underneath all the fun and games is heavy and serious. At one point Jain says, “Is it fair for corporations to privatize all the gains and socialize all the losses?” This theme of “is it really fair?” seemed to stay with me after the show. As people we have no bailouts and that’s the unfair fact of life, but the show with its spastic delivery and an almost Chaplin-esque comedy routine makes you forget that for a second.

There’s only three shows left and you should check out this little gem that began in Toronto before it’s gone again.


  • Spent is playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane) till February 22 , 2013.
  • Performances run Feb 16 at 2pm; Feb 21 & 22 at 8pm.
  • Tickets are $15-$20.
  • Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling 416-866-8666 or online.

Photo of Ravi Jain and Adam Paolozza by Elisa Gilmour