CAT on solid ground with latest show

  • Oct. 17, 2012 3:08 p.m.

Central Alberta Theatre’s second offering of the season is built on a simple premise, but steadily builds as a solid tale fueled by strong performances.

2 Across continues its run Oct. 18-21 in the Memorial Centre’s Nickle Studio.

Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. except for the Sunday performance, which begins at 6 p.m.

Featuring Deb O’Brien and Derek Olinek, the play takes place on a train leaving the San Francisco airport bound for the end of the line in East Bay.

Interestingly, the show, which was written by Jerry Mayer, is timed to match the 85-minute journey. Seated across from one another are two strangers who have nothing in common save for a crossword puzzle. At first, conversation is strained as Janet tries in vain to focus on her puzzle while Josh natters away about a range of topics.

But as time passes, Janet, who has a few heartaches of her own, lets her guard down ever so slightly and the charismatic and charming Josh brings a spark of joy to her world. Mayer’s script is really well-crafted, it flows naturally and the conversations between the two feel authentic. There are several humourous moments and some poignant ones as well, as both of the characters learn more about themselves while becoming more and more familiar with each other.

O’Brien is a delight to watch – she’s always strong, confident and convincing in any role she tackles. This time around is no different. We watch her move from being stuck in a lonely unhappiness to recapturing a luminous part of her personality she had perhaps left behind long ago.

Like O’Brien, Olinek is really a solid performer as well. He’s funny, expressive and consistently entertaining as he fleshes out his character’s spirited philosophies on life.

Pacing is a problem here and there, and there are a few weak, meandering patches in the script. But ultimately, I can’t imagine the challenge for O’Brien and Olinek who are the only two onstage at all times and must not only keep conversation flowing but also have their emotions evolving as the story progresses. But they manage it just fine.

The folks at CAT got of to a bit of a rocky start this season with the bizarre and uneven Greater Tuna, but they’re getting closer to finding their strengths with a show such as 2 Across. Director Erna Soderberg has assembled a great cast and brought out a pleasant story of how a chance meeting can have far-reaching consequences.

Tickets are available at the Black Knight Inn ticket office by calling 403-755-6626 or visiting www.blackknightinn.ca.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Local filmmaker works on documentary featuring women farmers

Red Deer woman receives $50,000 grant from STORYHIVE to produce documentary

Red Deer Rebels lose to Edmonton Oil Kings 4-1 at home opener

General Manager and Coach Brent Sutter said team ‘played hard’

Thurber Raiders snatch season opener from the Lacombe Rams

Red Deer game saw 44-8 win for the Raiders

Snowfall warning in effect for Red Deer

Around 10 to 15 centimetres expected

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

The Vatican ‘owes God an apology,’ activist says in letter to Pope Francis

Letter came after a report on sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Most Read