A Man of No Im­por­tance

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Shaw Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre To May 11 Tick­ets: $25-$35 at 204-942-8898 or on­line at www.mtyp.ca

out of five Fletcher also picked a solid, even stel­lar, cast of Win­nipeg mu­si­cal theatre vets, many of whom take dou­ble roles. Of these, note Rob Her­riot, play­ing both the com­pas­sion­ate stage de­signer/wid­ower Baldy (with a great comic per­for­mance of the song The Cud­dles Mary Gave) and, con­versely, Al­fie’s vi­cious boss Carson. That’s ver­sa­til­ity. As the ob­ject of Al­fie’s sub­li­mated de­sire, Matthew Fletcher brings a cer­tain old-school mat­inée idol charm to the role of bus driver Rob­bie. Olaf­son is an­other stand­out as Adele, a young woman suf­fer­ing tragic re­jec­tion who sees her cri­sis eerily re­flected in the char­ac­ter she has been as­signed to play. As the ti­tle char­ac­ter, MacPher­son has nei­ther the voice nor range of a Broad­way bel­ter. His ap­proach to the role is a metic­u­lous, emo­tion-based por­trayal of Al­fie, and it works most ef­fec­tively. But even given his solid work, one of the mu­si­cal’s most pow­er­ful per­for­mances has the im­pact of a sur­prise at­tack. It comes cour­tesy of Me­lanie Whyte as Lily, Al­fie’s loyal sis­ter who has been post­pon­ing her own mar­riage plans while Al­fie re­mains sin­gle. Lily re­sponds to the out­ing of her brother in the song Tell Me Why and Whyte’s per­for­mance of it was a tour de force, en­com­pass­ing both be­trayal and en­dur­ing love, which elicited au­di­ble sobs from Thurs­day night’s au­di­ence. A Man of No Im­por­tance de­serves to be a tempt­ing en­ter­tain­ment op­tion this weekend given the qual­ity of the pro­duc­tion and its all-too-brief run at The Forks venue. And as Wilde him­self so sagely ob­served: “The only way to get rid of temp­ta­tion is to yield to it.”

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