Morris Panych is brilliant. Gifted actor, playwright and director, he has wooed me before with his play “7 Stories” and this latest work, “The Waiting Room” at the Arts Club Granville Island last night was stellar.
Combined with the musical talents of John Mann, lead singer and co-founder of the legendary Spirit of the West, The Waiting Room is an amazing production. The story lays out Mann’s own journey with cancer. It’s touching, funny, heart breaking and inspiring. Woven into the play, in the background is Mann, singing songs he wrote for this collaboration with Panych.
The half dozen cast members, many playing multiple roles, all sparkled; they made us laugh and cry. The thing that struck me the most was how their body language and choreographed ballet-like, synchronized-swimming-like set changing “dances” enhanced the experience. Lead Jonathon Young playing “J”, added an extra layer to the storytelling with his grand, frenetic sometimes, sometimes slo-mo pacing across the stage. Young Matreya Scarrwener as “C” was captivating.
The set was a work of art with its minimal furnishings that somehow said so much: chairs upon chairs, suspended from the ceiling in stately order, or disarray…gurneys and exam beds twirling and doing do-si-do’s around the stage.
Sadly, it closes at the end of this month, but I trust it will be back, watch for it.