Theatre Review: Race

Last night MM and I went to see Race, a Canadian Stage production directed by David Mamet. Though we’re pretty into theatre (admittedly we tend to lean more towards theatre of the musical variety), our motivation for seeing this particular production can be summed up in two words: Jason Priestley.

Brandon Walsh y’all!

This guy.

Our seats were quite close to the front and we both worried that we’d make an obvious squeaking noise or something when he walked onto the stage. We managed to contain ourselves (barely) and settled in for 90 minutes straight of pure (albeit somewhat uncomfortable) awesomeness.  I’ve read mixed reviews of Race but overall I thought it was well acted and exceptionally well cast. The play contains a lot of strong language, and is probably not appropriate for a younger audience. As you might be able to glean from the play’s title, the subject matter is race and the script doesn’t pull any punches. It’s funny, jarring, shocking and even a little melancholy.

Race centers around 3 lawyers and the wealthy, debonair (though slightly undone) Henry Brown (played by Nigel Shawn Williams), whom the lawyers are considering representing on a rape charge. Jason Priestley plays lawyer Jack Lawson, and his legal partner Charles Strickland is played by Matthew Edison who was so good he literally took my breath away at times. The play’s only female character, Susan, is portrayed by Cara Ricketts who gives a particularly powerhouse performance that is both raw and controlled. The lawyers grapple with the details of the case and the legal and ethical ramifications of taking on a client who may be both racist and guilty of raping a young woman.

I highly recommend you check it out.

Race runs at the Bluma Appel Theatre until May 5.

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