Monday, April 9, 2012

Freud’s Last Session Extends at Taproot Theatre

Matt Shimkus as C.S. Lewis and Nolan Palmer as 
Sigmund Freud in Freud’s Last Session. Photo by Erik Stuhaug.

Due to high demand, shown through ticket sales, “Freud’s Last Session” will be extending its run at Taproot Theatre until April 28, 2012. There is much to like with this award-winning play and is definitely not one to be missed.

“Freud’s Last Session” tells the tale of C. S. Lewis, author of the “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Screwtape Letters,” being asked to meet Dr. Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, for tea. Freud, in old age, is struggling with cancer. Lewis a young and feisty. Lewis believes in God, Freud appears to believe in everything but God. They are the ultimate odd couple. To add to this unique opportunity, there are air raid sirens heard overhead adding to the tension in the room.

The Taproot stage is transformed by Scenic Designer, Mark Lund, into a very realistic living room belonging to Freud complete with artwork representing many of the world’s religions and a therapist’s couch. With the actors standing mere feet from you, the audience gets the chance to be the metaphorical flies on the wall listening in on the conversation. The pair talk about everything from art, music, life and death, but every conversation comes back to the existence of God.

Written by Mark St. Germain and directed by Producing Artist Director Scott Nolte, “Freud’s Last Session” is enjoying its’ west coast premiere of this Off-Broadway play. The fairly short production (there is no intermission), feels less like a play and more like a real conversation between two great men. With such a high brow concept, you might think that this piece would be a snore-fest, but you would be wrong. The two talk less like intellectuals and more like real men. Matt Shimkus, last seen playing Dietrich Bonhoeffer in last year’s “The Beams are Creaking,” plays an effective Lewis, while the fantastic Nolan Palmer is an incredible Freud. After 31 years with working with Taproot, is there any role this guy can’t do? The conversation between the two seems very natural, funny, thought-provoking and touching – all at the same time.

You can catch “Freud’s Last Session” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays or catch the matiness on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. A special senior matinee will be presented on April 11 also at 2:00 p.m. Taproot Theatre Company is located at 204 North 85th Street in Seattle. Tickets range from $22-$37 ($15 for those age 25 and under) and may be purchased online or by calling the box office at 206.781.9708.
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