Canadian premiere of the play by American novelist Don DeLillo
The Globe & Mail
1/2 (out of four)
Andy Thompson gives a bravura performance as a man who has misplaced not only his body, but his soul. So superbly subtle is his acting that the audience sees his persona crumble molecule by molecule. By the time he and Livia, played with feral precision by Diana Swayze, appear on a daytime talk show hosted by a hipper, infinitely meaner and sexier version of Oprah Winfrey, they are as vulnerable as cattle at a slaughterhouse. Full Review
North Shore News
Every actor is right on the mark and the production, on a limited budget, is technically excellent... Valparaiso is must-see theatre. Full Review
Well-realized theatrically. Andy Thompson's performance as Michael is the rock upon which this production is built. He describes a gorgeously detailed arc for Michael-from the exquisite deadpan bafflement of his first interview, through his increasingly savvy manipulation of his own image, to the touching emotional credibility of his eventual collapse. Enuka Okuma's take on Delphina is complex, intelligent, and lively. And Ray Galletti manages to be true to Teddy, Delphina's unctuous sidekick, at the same time that he mercilessly sends him up. You have to wait for the stimulation in Valparaiso, but when it comes, it floods your synapses. Full Review
Sharp looking, cleverly directed and excellently performed... Valparaiso is a smart, hip and funny reminder about the soul-sucking media and our willingness to suck up. Full Review
REVISED PRESS RELEASE February 7, 2001
Valparaiso Chillingly Entertaining
Michael Majeski, an ordinary businessman, heads out on a routine trip to Valparaiso, Indiana, but ends up in Valparaiso, Chile. The press catches wind of his misadventure and turns him into a media darling over night. As Majeski's fame grows, his personal life erodes in front of the cameras; a creation of the media, he is caught between sanity and celebrity.
Valparaiso, a play from multi-award winning American novelist Don DeLillo (Underworld, White Noise) is a funny, sharp and deep reaching story about how the media shapes our lives. This devastating and chillingly entertaining play makes us look with unwavering directness at the world we inhabit - a world in which the virtual and the real are skewed.
The Canadian premiere of Valparaiso, runs February 16 - March 3 at Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver.
Directed by Jessie Award winner Michael Schaldemose with video sceneography by Drew McCreadie, computer graphic design by Martin Jackson and Adam Jones, sound design by Michael Low and original music by Alchemy. Valparaiso stars Jessie Nominee Andy Thompson (Reading Hebron, Brilliant!) as Majeski, Enuka Okuma (Madison, Big Sound), Brendan Beiser (Agent Pendrell of The X-Files), Ray Galletti (Da Vinci's Inquest, Best Restaurant in The World), Jessie Nominee Trevor White (KVETCH), Diana Swayze, and Jessie Award winner Daune Campbell (Little Sister). Michael Brooks is stage managing.
The cutting edge creative teams of The Virtual Stage and Way off Broadway team up to bring to life a theatrical vision of the media machine. Computer graphic animators, digital filmmakers and video sceneographers work together in this, an emerging, high tech form of the live theatre experience. The Virtual Stage is a theatre company dedicated to the application of emerging technologies in live performance. Artistic Director Andy Thompson explains, "Digital technologies are now in the hands of theatre artists. Before long, computer generated projection will be the norm in live theatre. Its role in live performance is an ever-evolving sea of possibility." This is an Equity approved Co-op.
Produced by The Virtual Stage Co-op, with the generous support of Way Off Broadway.
Valparaiso opens Friday, February 16 at Presentation House Theatre and runs through March 3.
Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Preview February 15.
Box Office (604) 990-3474 Tickets $14/12 Preview and Wednesdays are Two for One.
Presentation House Theatre, 333 Chesterfield (at 3rd and Chesterfield) North Vancouver.
4 blocks from Seabus.