by Paula Citron
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men at the Stratford Festival should be a powerhouse, but it just doesn’t work in the Tom Patterson Theatre.
The play really does need a proscenium stage. Director Martha Henry has placed most of the action at one end which, in effect, turns it into a proscenium. I got a stiff neck from the angle I had to keep my head from the side seating.
There is some good acting, but no sense of ensemble, and the play lacks emotional depth. Everyone seems to be out for themselves, and Henry has missed the testosterone boat.
Graham Greene is superb as the mentally challenged Lennie. He is in character the whole time and never hits a false note. Jerry Franken also gives a great performance as Candy. Alas, Nicolas van Burek as George whines his way through his one dimensional performance.
Of Mice and Men continues until Sept. 22.
From the Stratford Festival’s Tom Patterson Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.