Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review! The Miracle Worker

It’s review time again!

Show: The Miracle Worker
Where: Kelowna Actors Sudio
When: On till June13th.

Dinner, Dessert & Theatre ($51 - $69)
Dessert & Theatre ($36 - $45)
Saturday Matinee & Sunday Evenings ($32 - $41)

The Miracle Worker is called an “American Theatre Classic” for a reason.

It is!

The story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan has been told on TV in the movies, in books, in classrooms and of course on the stage! It is such an inspirational and wonderful true story about determination and transformation about love and about honesty.

Most people know the story of Helen, we know about her struggle to learn sign and that a teacher who never gave up opened a whole new world to this girl, and in turn the world was gifted by her wondrous mind.

I was nervous going to see The Miracle Worker. While my faith in the ability of the cast and crew at Kelowna Actors Studio has rarely been given a reason to be shaken, I was apprehensive of how the story was going to be approached. Helen is important to me, as a child with serious learning disabilities I understand the moment when language becomes more than just a struggle, when language opens a new world, and I didn’t want to see such a victory in anyway tarnished.

Helen truly is a hero to me.

I didn’t have to worry. Both Patricia Burns who plays Annie Sullivan and Emma Magirescu who plays Helen are outstanding. I was captivated by the ultimate student teacher story once again. Another role that I truly enjoyed was Kate Keller played by Dorthy Dalba, her warmth and struggle to find the balance with both her daughter and step son was palatable and rang so true. When these 3 ladies were on stage together I forgot I was sitting in an audience and truly felt like I was part of the fabric of the play. (Until the lady sitting next to us passed wind.. but that’s another story.) Also kudus to Martha played by Brianna Lange, her timing was wonderful and was key to more than one “laugh out loud” moment. Casey Kneller rounded out the ladies in the cast with the part of Aunt Ev and did a wonderful job not getting lost in the light that was being cast by the others.

The ladies of this cast ruled the roust, with the fella’s falling a little flat. I was brought back to my seat more than once when the attention was turned from the energy of Helen and Annie. My attention was also turned by the “haunting” of Annie by her past and the sad story of her brother who she couldn’t save. When those moments came I wanted to grab my remote that has the “skip ahead” feature so I could get back to the good stuff!

The good stuff in Kelowna Actors Studio presentation of “The Miracle Worker” was very very good. I would encourage anyone to go and see it! It was lovely to look around the theatre before the lights went down and see all families that were in attendance, which is exactly what should happen with an “American Theatre Classic”

Congratulations once again Randy Leslie, and Nathan Flavel for another job well done.. and an extra congrats to Randy for adding to his resume the 2009 City of Kelowna Civic Award for Honour in the Arts!