Mosaic Theatre

Wrecks was last season's hardest-to-watch play, dealing with weakness, loneliness, desperation, and dysfunction in such a personal way that audiences actually left embarrassed — like they'd unwittingly paid to be peeping Toms for a night. With Wrecks gone from our stages and unlikely to reappear any time soon, it's probably safe to explain that its central conceit is the interior monologue of a widower at his wife's funeral. As the widower and play's sole actor, Gordon McConnell reveals that the deceased was much older, that his thing for older women stems from having been given up by his birth mother as a baby, and that his dead wife and long-lost mother are in fact the same person. McConnell's a brilliant actor and a grizzled vet of stage shows of every kind. Here, he ambled back and forth across the stage, spoke softly, allowed his sentences to wander aimlessly and trail off into silence, and generally behaved as though no one was watching. He was as distraught, scatterbrained, and introverted as any real-life mourner. He had clearly found some way to sympathize with his character's complex complexes and, in doing so in such an unshowbizzy way, forced the rest of us — folks who are usually turned off by the thought of marrying our mums — to do likewise.

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