Do you have the same sense of humor as Peter Sinn Nachtrieb? On the opening night of his new play The Making of a Great Moment, the playwright posed that question to the audience. What he really wanted to know was would we laugh at his jokes? The answer, if not universally so, came in the form of frequent chortles, snorts and guffaws. Anyone who had attended his 2016 immersive theater piece A House Tour knew what they were in for, and had, perhaps, longed for the day when Danny Scheie would once again expel Nachtrieb’s words with his characteristic acidulous way of address. a
At the conclusion of Moment, it’s not clear if Scheie had become the playwright’s muse or vice versa. The script hews so closely to the actor’s strengths it’s not possible to imagine anyone else reciting the lines. Obviously, there’s been a Vulcan mind meld between the two artists. A House Tour was a verbally demanding one-man show that Scheie marched through with a lascivious, suggestive edge. That same skill of portraying salaciousness is present in his portrayal of Terry Dean, a Canadian repertory actor attempting to finish out a run in his 207th production.
But this time, his character shares the stage, albeit reluctantly, with Mona Barnes (Ayaan Celik). In Celik, Scheie gets to parry his rapier wit with a chameleonic and charming scene partner. Terry wouldn’t admit it, but he’s evenly matched in this two-hour long battle of imp versus marvelous imp. Terry and Mona hail from The Victoria Canada Bicycle Theatre Company (V.C.B.T.C.). We first meet them “backstage” — such as it is — in what is probably a nursing home. Terry is mortified to discover there is only one…
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