It goes without saying that the end is always closer than we could ever imagine. And the emotional tumult that surfaces when you’re clinging to a tiny smidgen of hope is perhaps the worst part of it all.
In Waiting Room, an über intelligible new play by Diane Flacks, director Richard Greenblatt taps a comedy vein with extraordinary vigilance to illustrate the fear and frustration that consumes us all when we cannot alter the inevitable.
Life has been turned upside down for Jeremy (Jordan Pettle) and Chrissie (Michelle Monteith) whose daily hospital visits are beginning to tear them apart as they await the diagnosis of their cancer stricken daughter.
Despite distant physician Andre (Ari Cohn) trying his best to help them cope with the reality of the situation, no miracle can be found on the recovery horizon with his attention drawn toward Melissa (Jenny Young) for both personal and medical reasons.
This is a tale at risk of flatlining if the narrative emphasis was on one particular relationship. It’s impossible to determine which character actually owns the story and instead theatregoers are invited to examine survival mechanisms while the playwright compassionately weighs into the debate of health care ethics with a healthy dose of science speak.
It takes a fool to remain sane with inescapable suffering all around. Waiting Room is painfully real in all the right places.
Review by Steven Berketo
WAITING ROOM by Diane Flacks Jan. 6 – Feb. 15, 2015 TARRAGON THEATRE, 30 Bridgman Ave., Toronto TICKETS $29.00-$55.00 www.tarragontheatre.com 416-531-1827 CAST Ari Cohen, Michelle Monteith, Jordan Pettle, Warona Setshwaeto, Jane Spidell, Jenny Young DIRECTOR Richard Greenblatt SET & COSTUMES Kelly Wolf LIGHTING Bonnie Beecher SOUND DESIGN Reza Jacobs PROJECTION DESIGN Cameron Davis STAGE MANAGER AJ Laflamme