Theatre review: Wakey, Wakey reminds us that in the midst of death there is life
When: Until Oct. 23.
Where: Pacific Theatre, 1440 West 12th Ave., Vancouver.
Tickets and info: $35 at pacifictheatre.org
Among the most glaring aspects of our COVID-19 new normal are the death statistics that accompany the daily case counts. Eleven more people died of COVID recently in B.C. The U.S. just surpassed the 700,000 COVID death mark. We’re bombarded with reminders of mortality.
In Wakey, Wakey, first produced off-Broadway in 2017, a character called Guy offers a rebuttal to Pain’s cynicism. Guy is dying. He’s wheelchair-bound, surrounded by boxes in which he has packed up the remains of his life. But before he goes he needs to tell us a few things about riding that horse.
Craig Erickson plays Guy in Pacific Theatre’s thought-provoking season-opener, sensitively directed by the company’s new artistic director, Kaitlin Williams. Erickson turns in a beautifully modulated, very funny performance. Though the script sometimes flirts with New Age banality, Erickson comically deflates every hint of pomposity with a shrug, a stutter, an easy double-take. And he drives home the important points with gentle suggestion.