We are giving a way a pair of tickets to The Boy in the Moon, currently playing at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Subject to availability, the tickets are for the night of the winner’s choice. To enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “The Boy in the Moon” by 2 pm Tuesday, September 23. A winner will be drawn late Tuesday afternoon.
How many synonyms are there for the word “fantastic?” After watching the world premiere of the brilliant play The Boy in the Moon, I felt the need to write a review that answered this question.
Running at the Great Canadian Theatre Company until October 5, this dramatic work is an adaptation of journalist Ian Brown’s award-winning book The Boy in the Moon. Named by The New York Times as one of the top 10 books of 2011, this heartbreaking-cum-inspiring memoir tells the real story of how Brown and his wife, Johanna Schneller, raised their disabled son Walker.
Suffering from the extremely rare genetic mutation Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome – a condition so uncommon it is estimated that only about 300 people in the entire world have it – Walker’s life is a very difficult one. Unable to communicate with his parents, suffering from heart malformations (among other physical defects), and also mentally challenged, his daily existence can be a grinding struggle.
As for his parents, they are constantly torn about what to do. Sleep deprived due to countless nights taking care of their son, horrified when Walker repeatedly hits himself, downtrodden by the injustice and cruelty of their boy’s disease, the duo often find themselves at their wits end. Within this darkness, however, the couple also gain insights about the value of life, while discovering moments of pure joy with their son.
This play was funded and produced thanks to the Charles Dalfen Tribute Fund, named after Charles “Chuck” Dalfen, a former GCTC chairman. Thanks to this funding, playwright Emil Sher’s was able to bring Brown’s book to the stage in a masterful way. His dialogue is wonderful, the plot incredibly moving, and the difficult subject matter is presented in a dignified manner without a hint of self-pity.
One technique in the play that worked very well was a game in which Walker’s parents imagined what questions they would ask if they could communicate with their child. Do you have crushes? Do you know where you are? Do you know who your parents are? Is there an inner life taking place inside your head?
The cast of three actors, meanwhile, is brilliant. Ian Brown is played by the excellent Peter James Haworth, his wife Johanna by the highly skilled Manon St-Jules, and Marion Day offers a great performance as a series of background characters, such as doctors, Walker’s nurse and some of the couple’s friends.
Eric Coates, the GCTC artistic director and also director of the play, must be commended for not only picking this play, but also for doing such a great job in putting it together. An outstanding start to the GCTC’s 2014-15 season.
The Boy in the Moon runs at the GCTC ( 1233 Wellington St. W.) until October 5. Tickets can be bought online or at the GCTC box office.