Cast : Jon Hamm, Geena Davis, Tim Robbins. Produced by Coal Mine Theatre, Cast: Martha Henry – Marjorie ; Sarah Dodd – Tess ; Beau Dixon – Jon ; Gordon Hecht – Walter. The daughter Tess doesn’t trust the programmed robots. Award winning American playwright, Jordan Harrison, has created an imaginative and compelling story in ‘Marjorie Prime’ now playing at the Coal Mine Theatre in Toronto. - Los Angeles Times , Read More "Memory is an essential element of life – crucial to thought, feeling, progress, identity. All the humans in this play — which unfolds in a fluid series of naturalistic conversations — wind up feeling reservations about Primes. She is human through and through – laughing, crying, surviving. Jordan Harrison's Marjorie Prime at Main Street Players posits 21st Century technology giving people a chance to say what was left unsaid, to finish unfinished business. In conveying these feelings, the cast couldn’t be much better. This is a place for people who can't get to the theater until the third week a film is out; a place for people who just want to find something great to stream online after the kids have gone to sleep, a place for people whose favorite pastime is to grab a bunch of classic films on DVD from the library and watch them all weekend. A beautiful 85-year-old woman portraying a beautiful 85-year-old woman, Ms. Smith is nonetheless hardly coasting on the surface of easy type casting. Ms. Smith’s performance is an irrefutable argument for the human factor. This sparkling cast, however, makes those distractions disappear. The story slowly unfolds with surprise after surprise until we are thoroughly immersed in a future of artificial intelligence. When the Marjorie of this play’s opening scenes disappears, it leaves an aching void that no Prime could ever replace. But it is the cast that elevates this production. It's a place that believes that every great movie is a wonderful new treasure, whether you see it the night of its premiere or fifty years later. Her daughter and son in law have chosen to hire a pixel generating company named Prime who creates robotic holograms of former loved ones programmed with artificial intelligence. The performance she gives here is as meticulously conceived and layered as any in her long career, which ranges from that of a self-destructive young hedonist in the 1957 Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’s “Orpheus Descending,” to the runaway mother in Harris Yulin’s definitive revival of Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful” for the Signature Theater Company 10 years ago. It initially has the look and feel of a featherweight work — of a cool, low-key domestic comedy of ideas, built on a single ingenious gimmick. Well, we’re not 5 dudes in a room talking about our passion for Fight Club and Braveheart. Tim Brayton, our seasoned film critic, shares a more critical view of film, an appreciation for vintage cinema and perhaps limited-release movies that we might otherwise miss. Bram Gielen’s sound design is not the clanging of a Jetson’s episode, but a sophisticated undercurrent of soft wonder. The insightful script for the Pulitzer finalist will resonate deafeningly with Baby Boomers caring for parents edging into senility or who have already lost their parents. They choose a younger version of Marjorie’s dead husband to keep her company and to learn and reiterate memories of the past for Marjorie to enjoy. He is too well groomed, pants too well pressed, with the fixed grin of a commodities salesman. Ironically, she too becomes a prime and the final scene with three primes reminiscing is both moving and transfixing. We want to celebrate our different opinions, and celebrate yours as well. (If you do the math from the clues embedded in the script, you can set the date in the mid-21st century.) As mentioned, the final scene, populated only with primes, is both stirring and creepy as the actors’ chimerical tone understates the themes of memory and its role in the family. MARJORIE PRIME by Jordan Harrison (Coal Mine Theatre, 1454 Danforth). Ironically, she too becomes a prime and the final scene with three primes reminiscing is both moving and transfixing. As Jon says of Walter, “It’s amazing what they can do with a few zillion pixels.”. Marjorie Prime is a wonderful example of a stage-to-screen adaptation. What was intriguing about Stewart Arnott’s direction and Gillian Gallow’s design work was the effort made to not make this look like a science fiction piece. The final lines understate this with simplicity – “How nice that we could love somebody.”, Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison. It’s never as easy it sounds, recalling something — anything — especially as the brain ages, and the past covers more and more years. Beau Dixon as Jon ; Sarah Dodd as Tess Photo: Dahlia Katz, Why You Should Enroll Your Child in a Musical Theatre Class, I Love Acting, But I Hate Public Speaking, Every performer should be involved backstage at least once, Lying About Your Conflicts is One of the Worst Things You Can Do to Your Show, TV shows that would make awesome musicals, "Change Comes Slowly" - The False Statement That Impedes Progress, We Happy Few: A Reflection on the Importance of Relationships and Interdependency in Theatre, Sometimes Your Lack of Improvement is Why You're Not Getting Cast, Not Favoritism, 5 Audition Tips I Learned From Behind The Table, Click Here To Sign Up for the OnStage Blog Newslette. The condo is modern and antiseptic contrasting with Marjorie’s crocheted throw. ... To elaborate would be unfair in a play that, scene by scene… Upon her death, Marjorie becomes a “prime” herself, revealing more secrets. From left, Noah Bean, Lois Smith and Lisa Emery in “Marjorie Prime.”. (The pitch-perfect set is by Laura Jellinek, who also created the evocative near-future world of the MCC production of Jennifer Haley’s “The Nether”; Jessica Pabst’s costumes, Daniel Kluger’s sound design and Ben Stanton’s even lighting all feed the same aura of anxious placidity.).
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