The Graduate – adapted for the stage by Terry Johnson
Reflections by guest blogger Cazzy Lewchuck
Based on the beloved classic film, The Graduate is now playing at the White Rock Players Club. Adding a touch of aplomb, theatrical farce and extended scenes to the original storyline, the play is sure to touch many emotions inside us all. As someone who is 21, young, and a tad bit nihilistic, I could sympathize greatly with Benjamin, as I'm sure many young people could. With a set design, costume attire, and atmosphere throwing back to 1967, the tale of the Braddock and Robinson families may provide nostalgia and recognition amongst older patrons, or for the younger such as myself, a view into the culture of the era. The tensions and drama that heighten from Mrs. Robinson's seduction of Benjamin to his angst-ridden attempts to see her daughter Elaine in the aftermath are portrayed through an extremely talented cast of BC locals. It made me laugh, it made me sad, and I found myself exiting not sure just who was the villain or hero in the story. The Graduate is a tragic tale of hilarity brought to life in the theatre through larger-than-life characters. It's a story most of us know, but the cast bring their own flare and tension to the classic storyline. Seeing a play is a completely different experience than seeing a movie, and this is a prime example. Thomas Gage and Lori Watt are not Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, nor are they meant to be. They are, however, transformed into a unique and believable take on the characters throughout the two hours, drifting my imagination away.
Featuring a blend of contemporary 60s pop, including of course the iconic Simon and Garfunkel tunes, The Graduate transported to a timeless and iconic story in which no one is truly right or wrong, simply emotionally and sexually frustrated human beings attempting to find meaning amongst many cocktails and betrayals. Whether one identifies Benjamin, Mrs. Robinson, or Elaine, you're sure to find something to reflect on and maybe even surprise yourself in the entertainment. I know I did: I've seen The Graduate in movie format and seeing it on the stage was a whole new perspective.
The Graduate is being produced by the White Rock Players Club, and runs until Saturday, February 25.
Tickets and information: whiterockplayers.ca