My Turquoise Years & The Grand Coulee DamWednesday, April 10, 2013
A good play is supposed to challenge, inspire and question ones’ beliefs while entertaining us.
|Grand Coulee Dam - Photo by Alex W-H
Tonight I attended the opening performance and premiere of M.A.C. Farrant’s My Turquoise Years (directed by Rachel Ditor) at the Art Club Theatre Company’s Granville Island Stage. My companion was my teenage granddaughter (16) Rebecca.
I am happy to report that My Turquoise Years did not challenge, inspire, or question any of my beliefs.
It entertained me grandly, and for once nostalgia (I was 18 in 1960) was exactly what I needed in the company of a granddaughter who is having issues much more complex than Bridget Esler’s Marion who is about 13 and the idea of sex is still a yucky kind of thing. In her world The Pill had yet to be introduced and you could not buy Plan B at the Safeway drugstore on the morning after.
The play helped me understand (I did learn something important!) that whatever problems my Rebecca might have they are nothing to that of the precocious and intelligent Marion whose mother abandoned her when she was a little child and upon meeting her many years later falls asleep listening to a daughter she did and does not love.
I think that my Rebecca was really the real recipient of all that challenge, inspiration and questioning of her own beliefs in a world where spirituality is godless and involves flaming swords (with special effects) and not wielded by Lucifer and where angels are Hobbits and magic consists of wizards going to magic school. Rebecca might just see her mother with a better light tomorrow morning when she is nagged to do this or that.
The play was a delight. Michael Rinaldi and his trio with Marr and Anderson was grand. No matter how many times I see Peter Anderson, the real professional that he is with that right understated touch, I can never forget his perfect Quixote. But in the end he does find his Dulcinea in his constantly nagging Elsie (played by Wendy Noel) and the whole family minus that nasty mother (a marsupial perhaps) does achieve that Holy Grail that is a trip to the Grand Coulee Dam.
Dawn Petten (Maudi/Rae-Ella/Nancy should quit acting. Not because she isn’t a perfect actor who had me roaring at anything she said, but because she might have an even better future as a comedian.
But the real revelation of the evening, a most pleasant one, was David Marr’s role as Marion’s father Billy. After years of seeing him in Bard on the Beach where he pontificates with that perfect Marr diction and accent (I do remember his good role in being Tennessee Williams’s Man Friday in His Greatness) this is the first time that I really saw genuine humanity, which moved me. It seems that he has finally let go and the David Marr that I experienced tonight is one that I hope to see again and again.
I am one of those persons (my granddaughter, too) who has visited the director’s home. Rachel Ditor is also listed as the dramaturg (Ditor directed and dramaturged?). In that beautifully decorated with understated good taste apartment, and having observed Ditor’s clothing and shoes through the years I think I can attest that any play directed by Ditor will be one of understated elegance and good taste. My Turquoise Years is such a play.