MASTERFUL DRAMA TOO DARK FOR COMFORT
Posing the question— ‘what is acceptable in a 21st century relationship?’ The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? is a surreal allegory of a modern day union between a couple that has it all and is about to lose it all.
For the record, the play is about four people and well, you guessed it—a goat!
And when told by a language lover to the extent that playwright provocateur Edward Albee can stretch, squish, and twists lines into shape, the end result is a black comedy that will indeed shock you, possibly offend you, but perhaps never, ever leave you.
Renowned architect Martin (Albert Sshultz) has a perfect house decked out with a variety of vanity, a perfect wife Stevie (Raquel Duffy) who only has eyes for him, a perfect son Billy (Paolo Santalucia) who resembles any other teenager, and a perfect friend Ross(Derek Boyes) who celebrates each of Marin’s accolades with a televised news feature.
That is until the Martin’s outed for having an affair with a four legged, grass eating, hoof stomping goat. Only then do relationships begin to come apart at the seams and a perfect world takes a not-so-perfect shape.
Albert Schultz looks delightfully dazed as Martin who struggles to understand why his new found romance—which he acknowledges may not be right—is hard for everyone to accept. His best effort, however, is overshadowed by the exceptionally explosive Stevie, played with just the right sized fuse by Raquel Duffy.
Paolo Santalucia is sharp as the slowly disintegrating Billyand Derek Boyes nails the utter disgust pedestal of Ross with sheer nobility.
Bringing in a steady eye as director, Allan Dilworth succeeds at balancing the dark humour with the horror of the offense committed and in doing so has the audience’s ear all the way.
To conclude that The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? is remotely a story about bestiality would be downright stupid and those that do deserve a cuff upside the head. Ask yourself this: Would you have listen as intently to a story about a routine love affair with another woman? Or another man? Probably not. Introduce a goat to the story and all of the sudden, theatergoers want to hear the position of all parties involved.
All of which is told in an elegant environment thanks to Lorenzo Savoini’s vision of all things posh.
We live we learn, we love we lose. Pick a side. Any side.
THE GOAT (OR WHO IS SYLVIA?) by Edward Albee November 1 – 19, 2017 2017 YOUNG CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 50 Tank House Lane, Toronto TICKETS $35.00 – $95.00 www.soulpepper.ca 416-866-8666 CAST Albert Schultz, Derek Boyes, Raquel Duffy, Paolo Santalucia DIRECTOR Allan Dilworth SET Lorenzo Savoini COSTUMES Alexandra Lord LIGHTING Kimberly Purtell SOUND Thomas Ryder Payne FIGHT DIRECTOR Simon Fon STAGE MANAGER Meghan Callan