Sidney Poitier, Winston Miller, Denis Simpson & Angels In AmericaThursday, July 20, 2006
Many years ago my doorbell rang and I opened it to Sidney Poitier. That was my first impression. I again looked carefully, and the handsome an urbane black man in the perfect suit, was Winston Miller, who upon leaving my house became my life insurance agent with Transamerica. The clincher was his radio voice.
Some years ago I had met another slimmer version of Sidney Poitier. Actor Denis Simpson was on a Harley Davidson with Anne Macaulay (of the latter, John Lekich, author and movie critic, said, "She was the only woman I ever met whose chest blushed.") I was taking a series of photographs for an art magazine called Step that featured local celebrities on Harleys.
And I should have known that I was up for a treat when I got off the B-Line Bus on the Granville St Bridge. I ran into the Electric Light Company's Kevin Kerr. Both of us were headed for the premiere performance of Angels in America at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. I asked Kerr about one of the performers, Sarah Rodgers. Kerr, with a smile on his face, told me of Rodgers's other talent, "She is a terrific director."
But nothing prepared me for Denis Simpson's performance. I am sure that the other characters will have their opportunity to compete in Part II Perestroika which opens August 3. But this time around he was the clear winner for an exquisitely sensitive but funny performance. Studying his face I realized that Winston Miller, Sidney Poitier and he share something else, besides colour, it is a way of expressing all sorts of emotions with a slight movement of the mouth.
Not far behind and catching up quickly is Marco Soriano (top, right). All in all it was a satisfying evening.
If you sell life insurance and you look like Leslie Howard don't bother to ring the bell. I already have a good policy.