Charming and genuine, the cast of Soulpepper’s Our Town graciously welcomes you into the community of Grover’s Corners. Where life and the living of it matter supremely, the inhabitants of Grover’s Corners quickly remind the audience of the importance of seemingly small things.
Gossip, marriage, travel, family life and, of course, the weather initially pose as superficial topics but they ultimately reveal the profound poetry of daily life. Soulpepper has done Thornton Wilder’s play justice, drawing out its enduring themes and lingering with the audience with its ever relevant questions. Winning performances from a cast deep with talent ensure that this play resonates days later.
Krystin Pellerin’s portrayal of Emily Webb is divine. Her curiosity, seriousness, adolescence, and emotional candour prove enchanting. The audience is forced to identify with her early in the play ensuring that Pellerin has their trust going into the stunning third act. Haunting, the third act demands that every person ask if they are doing enough, loving enough, seizing the moment enough. Pellerin does not manipulate the audience with such a pregnant role; rather, she merely poses these impossible questions honestly and without judgment. Truly, this is a stunning performance from Pellerin.
Jeff Lilico brings his trademark energy to the stage again as George Gibbs. Simple, young, and appealing, Lilico’s performance helps to underscore the central theme of the play – how people’s lives are actually lived. In a tiny moment, Diego Matamoros reminds of his artistic power to become any character. Nancy Palk as Ms. Gibbs and Jane Spidell as Mrs. Webb bring a lovely cadence to the play. Their dialogue is perfectly sincere and familiar; they make the play feel warm. Their honesty makes it accessible. The result is fantastic. It is impossible to finish watching these characters’ lives without turning to your examine your own.
Soulpepper's Our Town
Directed by Joseph Ziegler
Young Centre for the Performing Arts
55 Mill Street, Building 49, Toronto
Mill Street and Cherry Street
Written by Jenn Hood
Jenn Hood loves theatre. She has acted in shows including Ghosts (Henrick Ibsen), Coriolanus (William Shakespeare), Merchant of Venice (William Shakespeare), All in the Timing (David Ives) and Death (Woody Allen). As a long-time theatre reviewer for Spotlight, Jenn is thrilled to be a part of the dynamic Toronto theatre scene. Recently she has begun writing joint reviews with her father, Richard Hood, which often require (in the best way) a large glass of wine.