The Grand Theatre’s latest play a Pleasure to watch

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

For the Pleasure of Seeing her Again
Directed by: Susan Ferley
Starring: Louise Pitre, Joe Matheson

4 stars

Michel Tremblay’s For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again is the Canadian playwright’s loving tribute to his mother.

Exploring the relationship between mother and son, the play begins with the son’s comedic run-in with the law at age 10. It progresses through his life until he graduates college, with his mother guiding him all the way.

Joe Matheson captures the audience’s attention with his opening monologue. He says the mother in this play “is one of you; she is everywhere.” He then transforms into a young boy whose melodramatic mother (Louise Pitre) hilariously scolds him for goofing off.

Although Matheson is a charming narrator, his initial transformation into a young boy was shaky. However, his character smoothly evolves from a quizzical boy questioning life to a mature adult questioning the end of his mother’s life.

Pitre stole the show, flawlessly delivering melodramatic stories about her quirky family and life lessons to her son with good comedic timing. Although some of her monologues were quite long, she kept the audience captivated and laughing throughout, proving that “mothers know everything.”

One of her most moving monologues questions the magic of television after watching a show with her son. She wonders about an actress’ life after she leaves the set. The question, “Do the actors ever think about us?” summarizes her final thoughts.

The touching ending perfectly portrays the son’s true devotion to his mother.

The mother’s domestic quarrels and over-the-top stories are her way of “beating around the bush”; however, she eventually opens up to her son and confesses her love and concern for him.

While the stage seemed too big for the show " which is tailored for a small studio setting " the actors’ chemistry created an unequivocal intimacy onstage which resonated throughout the audience.

Though Tremblay based the play on his interactions with his mother, it’s a universal story for mother-and-son relationships.

The play is well-written and touching but not too cheesy. It’s a story of family love and its sole intent is getting the audience thinking about “the woman you all know.”

For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again runs at the Grand Theatre until Feb. 24.

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