SLICK, SILLY AND STIRRING
Fact: Statistics show that 50% of the population feels there’s too much damn talking in this world. The other 50% would easily agree if they’d just shut their yapper long enough to think about it. If Keystone Theatre’s salute to silent film doesn’t inspire you to savour speechlessness, it would be wise to check your wrist for a pulse.
Director Ginette Mohr has her sights set on funny in a presentation that’s every bit a cerebral awakening as it is smartly amusing and wondrously thoughtful. Relying on 2 black wooden cubes, 4 cream topped pies, and 5 performers, it’s slick, silly and stirring.
That’s because there really are no limitations to this physically imaginative slice of stage heaven. A dash of conflict, a splash of romance and a heap of comical intrigue keeps minds young and old firmly fixed to the unfolding storyline.
When Stephen La Frenie’s Devil gets an evil grip on Dana Fradkin’s Penelope all seems sadly lost. Only then do Phil Rickaby’s Gormless Joe and Sarah Joy Bennett’s Minion find the will to save the day with a final knockout blow.
Laughably strange looks are exchanged with wild and wacky gestures giving the play more than enough narrative traction. With moves like Jagger, it’s a superlatively agile Sarah Joy Bennett who runs away with so many of the eye candy scenes.
It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to wake up one day and reign as the sole survivor of the male species. But if it feels half a good as what Keystone Theatre makes it out to be, it’s by no means anything to worry about.
Review by Steven Berketo
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH by the Keystone Ensemble
Apr. 2 – 13, 2014
Berkeley Street Theatre
26 Berkeley St., Toronto
CAST: David Atkinson, Sarah Joy Bennett, Dana Fradkin, Stephen La Frenie and Phil Rickaby,
DIRECTOR: Ginette Mohr