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THE FATHER Kavinoky Theatre
By
May 3, 2017, 22:40
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Through May 14
THE FATHER Kavinoky Theatre

We all get older and we all start wearing out.
And, things can go very bad.
Thatís what happens to Andre (David Lamb) in Florian Zellerís ďThe Father.Ē
The play and its script are very strange, surrealistic, confusing and painful, as Andre descends into dementia.
In the end of this fairly long one-act play, you leave the theater not sure how much of what you saw was real and how much was what Andre saw in his fevered mind, using some fine direction from Robert Waterhouse.
In the beginning, Andre seems to have mildly lost it, lost it enough that daughter Anne (Aleks Malejs) is trying to find someone to take care of him and they keep getting pushed out the door because the former university professor doesnít think things are bad.
In the end, heís confined to bed and obviously dying.
In between, well, in between we may know whatís going on.
Thatís the secret of Zellerís script, that sense of utter confusion in the minds of the audience and clearly in Andreís mind.
It benefits from a marvelous performance from Lamb, returning to the stage from a lot of time off for what are described as health problems.
Maybe his real-life experiences helped his performance.
Dementia comes in many forms, some quick, some slow.
Others hit young and others hit very old.
And, some arenít actually dementia but lousy medical care like too many meds and not checking blood flow to the brain through the carotids.
Itís all a very bad way to go, as you feel your mind slipping away.
Andre is in that stage where he no longer realizes his brain is over the hill and fights his daughterís attempts to help.
Sometimes, he recognizes her husband Pierre (Adriano Gattto) and sometimes he sees this man (Christopher Evans) and sometimes he clearly doesnít have any idea what heís seeing.
Waterhouse and the production crew do a wonderful job of showing how his mind isnít handling whatís going on around him.
If you are concerned about dementia or dealing with it in someone close to you, ďThe FatherĒ probably isnít for you.
Otherwise, this is a really good production, with a wonderful performance from Lamb and strong work from Malejs) and a truly smarmy performance from Gatto.
ďThe FatherĒ is scary.

A.W.

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