Great Expectations
Jeff Lillico (left) and Oliver Dennis (right) are performance partisans in a story that proves no matter where life’s journey can lead you, it’s impossible to change the person you are deep inside.

Putting Class Back In Classic

Coming of age stories are a lot like Thanksgiving dinner—you may not particularly look forward to attending the event but when it’s all over you walk away knowing it was the right decision not to have missed out. Michael Shamata designs a smorgasbord of goodies in his adaptation of Great Expectations and in doing so delivers wholesomeness of the highest blend.

The English literary classic reworked for the stage is a narrative almost as winding as its pulp predecessor. Young Pip (Jeff Lillico) resides with his older sister (Deborah Drakeford) and brother-in-law, Joe (Oliver Dennis) and has the fortunate misfortune of rubbing elbows with Young Estella (Naomi Agard).

Pip’s relationship with Joe is closer than close and it’s hard to imagine the kindred spirits ever living apart until opportunity allows the now teenager to head for London to begin a new life. Unforeseeable events follow before the two friends reunite one more time.

How refreshing it is to Jeff Lillico and Oliver Dennis back in saddle of time honoured works after straddling the great contemporaries as of late. The truly put class back in classic.

Summer presentations don’t come with more warmth than this heartfelt gem. Great Expectations is a dickens of a show any which way you look at it.

Review by Steven Berketo

Adapted by Michael Shamata
July 17- August 17, 2013
50 Tank House Lane, Toronto
Tickets $51.00 0- $68.00

Naomi Agard, Oliver Becker
Oliver Dennis, Leah Doz
Deborah Drakeford, Jesse Aaron Dwyre
John Jarvis, C. David Johnson
Jeff Lillico, Paolo Santalucia
Kate Trotter

Michael Shamata

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