By Sheila Martindale
Forget About Tomorrow is a play about pain, but it has some wonderfully humorous moments. It is about the cruelty of a disease which ‘ransacks lives’ and reduces the ability of the caregiver to cope. It is beautifully acted, and brilliantly directed by Michael Shamata. And it is based on the personal experience of the playwright.
Craig Erickson plays Tom, who finds himself diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 50. He might forget where he left the car, but he never forgets that he loves his wife and family. A solid and moving performance. The couple’s two children are well handled by Aren Okemaysim and Aleita Northey, both having recently left home but neither one really coping with adult life, and still counting on their stressed-out Mom to bail them out financially. The son particularly not appreciating the fact they he is supposed to work first and make music second. But he does have a very fine voice.
Colleen Wheeler brings a lot of comedic relief to this piece, as the cynic with a heart. Since this play could use the humour, hers is a very necessary part. Hrothgar Mathews is the potential lover, who is kind but really has no conception of the toll the disease is taking on the woman he really admires Nicely done!
The meaty and difficult role of Jane is undertaken by Jennifer Lines, who moves fairly quickly from being a happy wife, mother and retail clerk, to being the one with all the responsibility and very little support. Her performance runs the entire gamut of emotions, and with whom we feel the greatest empathy. What woman had not at some time or another been called a witch, at a time when she least needs that designation?
Great projection work by Candelario Andrade, and a simple yet many-functional set by Pam Johnson add to the ambience of the show. Be warned that you may need hankies or tissues, as the play will touch you in many surprising ways
Forget About Tomorrow runs at the Belfry until February 18. For tickets call 250-385-6815. This a definitely a play worth seeing.