Note: I wrote this review right after we saw the play Morning After Grace on the weekend and had scheduled it to be published this morning but serendipitously Dave called me on his way to the Jets game last night with some additional exciting news. “Guess who I just met in the elevator of our building?” he asked me. Turns out it was the star of Morning After Grace Fiona Reid . Dave was able to chat with her and tell her how much we had enjoyed the play!
Free Press reviewer Randall King gave the current Royal Manitoba Theatre production Morning After Grace a less than enthusiastic review. I enjoyed the play throughly. And so did the audience. Many in the Saturday afternoon matinée crowd which I was a part of, gave it a standing ovation.
King described the set design as ‘chilly’. I was intrigued by it. I liked the driftwood pieces on the walls, the lovely backyard you could see through the floor to ceiling windows, the interesting light fixtures and the functional but classic kitchen that was the site of several key scenes.
King found the comedy ‘calculated.’ I am not sure what he meant by that. Good comedy has to be ‘calculated’ the timing impeccable to pull it off. And I thought the cast did just that.
King seems to think the pot smoking scene wasn’t necessary and served only to showcase actress Fiona Reid’s prowess at using a bong. Playwright Carey Crim is based in Michigan but here in Canada where marijuana use is about to become legal in just a couple of months the possibilities that raises are being discussed at social gatherings I attend by people of all ages. They’ve even had a panel discussion about it at my father’s church. I think it is a surprisingly relevant scene to have included in a play on a Winnipeg stage.
Morning After Grace was perhaps primarily a situation comedy as King suggests but it also gave us things to think about. Is it best to always tell the whole truth or are their times when it is just better to leave things be? How much do we really know about the people in our lives? What is the state of our own relationships? If a family member died suddenly would we have regrets about the way we have treated them? What is a healthy way to grieve?
Looking at Randall King’s photo in the Free Press he seems to be a baby boomer like me and the many audience members who loved the play. But King is writing his reviews for a wider aged audience and perhaps as he considered them he chose to give the play only a decided measure of approval.
I beg to differ with his evaluation. I loved the play!