Seasoned pros and fresh talent

Studio 58, Lanford Wilson, Balm in Gilead

Stephanie Izsak as Ann, one of the sex workers, in Balm in Gilead

This weekend, I recommend two shows. Take your pick: seasoned pros or fresh talent.

At the Arts Club’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, you can watch old pros Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt perform 2 Pianos 4 Hands. On the surface, it’s about growing up wanting to be a concert pianist. A little further down, it’s about beauty and compromise. It’s a charming show and as smooth as can be.

And Studio 58 is showing Lanford Wilson’s groundbreaking 1965 play, Balm in Gilead. Densely textured with simultaneous scenes and aria-like monologues, Gilead presents the hard-scrabble life in an all-night café populated by hookers, rent boys, dealers, and junkies.

Director Bob Frazer’s production is exciting. That’s partly because designer Naomi Sider has turned the theatre into a working café. But it’s also because the production is chock full of young talent.

More mainstream audiences should know about Studio 58. It’s one of the few places in town where you can see large-cast shows well performed. And discovering gifted young actors—what could be more exciting?

About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.

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