LOUDER THAN BOMBS
Is there anything worse than an anxiety infused job interview? Not only does a person need to be crystal clear about their long term objectives but extreme caution must be exercised when highlighting specific skills and efficiencies especially if it relates to killing people who have the sole intent of exterminating you and your friends.
George F. Walker’s hilarious dark comedy isn’t about landing a new career opportunity as much as it illustrates the frustrating civilian life reintegration process when a sniper returns home from a double tour of duty in Afghanistan to discover that nothing will ever be the same again.
Yet all is not well even after Dean is hired to assist with an election campaign. With a baby on the way, his wife, Jenny, demands security. Hank, his aging father, is losing his mind yet still has a critical voice he wants heard. Frannie, the passive mother, is committed to staying by his side until the bitter end.
And when a morally driven family friend, Oliver, sets out to prevent ‘a political apocalypse’ by permanently silencing his two scoops of crazy wife, Helen, the solider of misfortune strongly considers relying on his military expertise to finance the future.
What a treat it is to see Michael Healey return to a superlatively edgy story. His finest moment comes when he learns a hit has been taken out on his own life and irritable confusion takes hold of the already unsettled character.
Noah Reid has ‘the eye’ for great roles which is why he’s as smooth as a polished gun barrel weighing Dean’s dilemma in this combat ready staging. He can’t secure a more lovable sounding spouse than what Haley McGee breeds in their shared scenes. If there was such a thing as high ranking command on our city stage, the honour would have to go to these two performers.
But it’s really Eric Peterson who proves to be louder than bombs. Hank has the crudest of words for systemic hypocrisy and those that are never held to accountability. When it comes time to retreat to more tranquil moments, you know exactly why the acting legend has never surrendered his talent for theatre.
It takes a unique laugh out loud funny narrative to assess the increasingly blurred lines of what’s right and wrong. Dead Metaphor’s tenacious sociopolitical context does more than target the mad, mad world we read about in the daily newspapers, it offers a brilliant satirical refuge in which to take cover.
Review by Steven Berketo
BONUS FEATURE: Watch the TorontoStage.com TV interview with Haley McGee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujXp484Wfwc