There was so much testosterone on stage that my companion and I had to take out our programs and fan ourselves. The cast was outstanding. Paul Flicker may be a first time director but he is not a first time caster.
Daniel Lillford was poignant as the hapless Dave Moss; the trouble making salesman. Graham Cuthbertson gave a fabulous performance as John Williamson the office manager who had an adrenaline pump where his heart should have been. Mike Paterson was fantastic as the terrified James Lingk. As detective Baylen, Tristan Lalla gave his short appearances a kind of Chicago punch that really worked.
Then there was a triumvirate of talent and power which is rarely seen on any stage: Michel Perron as the hapless George Aaronow, the born loser. In his dialogue with Daniel Lilliford, he hardly gets a chance to finish a sentence. But his presence on stage exudes the lost member of the team, the one whose name will never be written on the board of the best salesmen. Brett Watson gave a stupendous performance as the quintessential hustler, he danced and cajoled and minced and hammered. What an inspired performance.
The inimitable R.H. Thomson gave a powerful performance as the doomed and ageing Shelley Levine. He was mesmerising, leaping from the highest rush to the deepest despair in seconds. He played this part as though he were an entire orchestra. It was a triumphant performance, and made the whole evening one of a kind.
There was an amazing set by Michael Egan, whose first act design was lush and unimaginably beautiful. The only thing that was not pitch perfect was the blocking in the three scenes of the first act. Although beautifully played and written as a fascinating set up, I was seated at the far stage right of the audience and so much of this was blocked for the audience at centre. Many of the no doubt dramatic expressions and physical manifestations were missed there as the blocking was very static. It might have been designed in a more open format allowing the whole audience to see the action.
Glengarry Glen Ross continues at the Segal Centre to March 30th
Segalcentre.com or 514-739-7944
IMAGE: André Lanthier