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The Waiting Room - An Emotional Rollercoaster

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 10:59

Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore is here to talk about a new play that all takes place in a hospital waiting room.

The Tarragon Theatre always gets an award for bravery with the topics and discussions the company is willing to get started with the productions it puts on. Waiting Room is no different.

The play follows two major plot points. Number 1 follows parents in turmoil riding an emotional rollercoaster as their baby goes through treatment for brain cancer. Number 2, the great actor Ari Cohen plays a real A-type pediatric surgeon who trying to cure that baby. He is also illegally treating himself for Alzheimer’s disease with experimental medications. It all sounds quite serious, but there is a surprising amount of humor in this play.

Diane Flacks is the talented scribe behind this courageous foray into the waiting room. She is responsible for countless TV shows, books and theatre productions. She is also a stand-up comedienne and talented actor in her own right. Some years ago, Flacks went through this waiting room scenario with her young son, and the idea for this script was born. I caught with her in Victoria BC and she explained the origins of the Waiting Room.

Waiting Room enjoys a fantastic cast, great acting, and lots of laughter. This is very watchable and slick production with great lighting and sound as well. So it is entertaining. But Flacks clearly wanted a bigger discussion to happen after you watch the play.

Cohen and Michelle Monteith are at the heart of this show, with riveting performances. But this is a fantastic cast overall, and the group will have you caring very much what happens to a child that you never get to meet onstage. Award winning director Richard Greenblatt is at the helm on this one as well.

Diane Flacks has put together a thoughtful show here, some big heart and some big questions. Waiting Room runs through February 15th at Tarragon Theatre.


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