Review by Danny Gaisin
This scribe is anything but scientific. 60 years ago I had to study a theory by Professor Alan Guth of MIT about parallel Universes; quantum leaping, and his ‘false vacuum’ concept. Couldn’t grasp it and generally hated everything about theoretical physics! So, a play that requires imagining such a scenario is not my first-choice subject.
Hamiltonian John Mighton’s play –“POSSIBLE WORLDS” is a challenge to produce, a burden for the actors, and an effort for its audience.
One must accept a premise and then let the imagination overshadow scientific credibility. R & D productions and director Ryan Trepanier do the best they can with the subject, but unfortunately; miss the mark. Trepanier and his steadfast team from ‘East of Berlin’ have obviously put in extensive effort and deserve kudos for even making the attempt; alas, Worlds exceeds their grasp.
One major flaw: – projection. The dialogue is critical for following the play and the cast unfortunately mutters their way throughout. Even my cupped ears failed to hear much of the conversations, especially between the two major characters and their diverse portrayals. Brief plot resume…two detectives are examining a corpse. ‘George’ has been killed and his brain removed. Watch, VISA, blackberry, Ipod etc. was left untouched. In subsequent scenes George reappears in numerous personae all of whom are involved with various females all named Joyce.
Robert K. Brown plays the ‘George’s 1 thru 4 or 5; albeit in the same dishabille droopy drawers and untucked chemise. Crystal Jonasson is (are?) his Joyce’s. Fortunately, her costumes assist us in visualizing her identities. There is tangible chemistry between them and both utilize an amazing display of facial expression and sense of timing that has to be more intrinsic than directed. Their thespian skills incorporate emphatic body language that certainly helped overcome the lack of auditory reception.
The two support roles of investigator and assistant are taken by A.J. Haygarth & Philip Krusto respectively. They are a study in contrasts and offer some of the more comedic aspects of the play. Haygarth’s mental deterioration as the number of brain-removed bodies grow; is offset by Krusto’s intellectual challenged ‘Williams’ as he fumbles & bumbles…very Martin & Lewis-ish. Berkley’s inspector interpretation recalls Falk’s “Columbo” but without that signature fingers to forehead and “one last question” zinger. The minor role of Dr. Penfield is taken by Gregory Cruikshank and is almost mailed in. His powerhouse Rudi in ‘East of Berlin’ demonstrated a plethora of emotions. This portrayal is uni-dimensional.
The Dundas Theatre sits kitty-corner to the ice rink. During hockey season, parking is atrocious. Now, spots are by choice, proximity or vagary. So, it’s a neat time to visit the building. POSSIBLE WORLDS which is at the Garstin Centre until June 2nd. Call 905-627-5266.