Theatre North West offers up Privilege, a play by Paul Weitz, to chase away the winter blues.
It's all about a family coming together when there's a financial crisis that throws a serious kink into their life of privilege.
Dad's arrested for insider trading and the kids, 12-year-old Charlie and 16-year-old Porter, are left reeling along with mom, Anna, and the suddenly unemployed house keeper, Erla.
It's a great take on what can happen to a family when dear old dad thinks he won't get caught and keeps pushing the proverbial envelope 'til it falls off the desk and hits the floor with a resounding financial crash.
As Ted the dad, Jonathan Purdon, offers up a great performance as his character is put through his paces while he slowly comes to terms with what the consequences of his actions will mean, not only to his bruised ego and standing in the community, but to the people he loves most in the world.
The emotional crescendo that climbs as Ted hopefully tackles the mundane task of making the bed for his son quickly turns frantic. The more Daddy tries to cover the bed, the worse the exposure is, reflecting the very situation he deals with in his life.
It's a memorable scene that speaks to the futility of the situation as Ted accepts the consequences of his actions.
Comedic relief in this poignant play comes to us in the feisty form of Erla, played by Melissa Oei. She's hot. Sparkling brown eyes along with a fiery spirit come blazing through the scenes as she offers motherly advice, helping the boys to face the harsh realities of their present world. Oei's comedic timing and natural rhythm lend itself nicely to moving the story along to its intended conclusion.
Anna, played by Danielle St. Pierre, is mom of the two boys. She's a lost soul who speaks of many regrets, including not being more self-sufficient. St. Pierre plays the character well, with the empathy of the audience well placed on her lap. We feel for you, Anna. The challenges ahead will be incredibly difficult for your little family and her portrayal brings that clearly to the forefront during the play.
New to Prince George is Aaron Stern who plays 16-year-old Porter. A bit of a mis-cast, in my opinion. I had a hard time believing this young man was only a teen, let alone a sixteen-year old.
He did bring lots of emotion to the part and helped his brother through most of the crises at hand but I kept having to remind myself he was just a kid dealing with adult problems.
Benjamin Hirtz played Charlie opening night, sharing the role with Jackson Williams. Charlie is is a worrier and we clearly saw how Benjamin portrayed how his mind worked overtime to problem solve, take control and help the situation, all the while battling with acceptance of the fact that his dad is a crook.
Tickets are on sale at Books & Co., 1685 Third Avenue. For more information visit www.theatrenorthwest.com.