Theatre at UBC

Beautiful City by George Walker

January 21-February 7, 1998

Frederic Wood Theatre


by Ed Farolan

This type of production is meant for idealistic university students. They are brainwashed in university by their idealistic professors who live in their high and mighty ivory towers with huge salaries and living in their cozy and comfortable academic ambience, to go out and fight for justice and righteousness. But the simple ugly truth is that when these students graduate and go out into the world, they face another simple ugly truth: you can try, but it’s not that simple, and it’s almost futile.

However, Walker gives us a hint of optimism at the end of the play when justice and righteousness triumph, with the help of an idealistic policewoman, Detective Diane Black (Erin McCoy), who sympathizes with the poor and homeless and forces the ugly and obscenely rich despot Mary Raft (Marlene Yan) to surrender her millions to the creation of parks and homes for the homeless.

The acting was good for theatre students who eventually will go into either professional acting or teaching/directing theatre. But pay particular attention to Graem Geen and Marlene Yan who play son and mother (Tony and Mary Raft). Very disciplined, well-timed, and just plain good acting. Naturally, the director was responsible for this, and kudos to Green Thumb’s Theatre artistic director, Patrick MacDonald for a show well-directed, and who admits he loves working on any play by Toronto-based Canadian playwright George Walker.


Copyright 1998 Ed Farolan