Portland March 14, 2011

Visiting Mr. Green - Key Productions

Key Productions Director Troy Lakey made a great decision to produce Jeff Baron's, "Visiting Mr. Green." He also had the good sense to cast it perfectly with George "Doc" Fosgate as Mr. Green and Benjamin Farmer as Ross.

The plot of the play is this, 86 year old widower, Mr. Green is almost hit by a car driven by young corporate executive Ross Gardiner. Found guilty of reckless driving, Ross is ordered to spend the next six months making weekly visits to Mr Green. What starts off as a comedy about two people who resent being in the same room together develops into a gripping and poignant drama, as family secrets are revealed and old wounds are opened.

After hearing what this play was about, I needed to see it. The venue was an interesting and appealing space at The Santuary @ Sandy Plaza - a repurposed Salvation Army church. Acoustics were fantastic. It's great venue for meetings, special events and productions.

Lakey took the roll of narrator for this drama, sometimes comedy. The comedic side came from the way the audience was able to relate to various exchanges, points of view and characteristics of the endearing, Mr. Green. The audience burst out laughing, chuckled, winced and cried at all the right parts. It was a languid rollercoaster of emotions that we all hated to see end. Just one more scene, perhaps two, please, don't end this relationship with "fade to black."

Benjamin Farmer was so convincing in the roll, passionate, compassionate and a bit of a standoffish prodigal son. His underlying gentleness came through from the beginning and stayed with us throughout the reveals in the various acts.

George Fosgate brings a true gift to this production. The transformation of seeing him walk in from off stage and settle into his roll of a man 15 years his senior was exciting and startling. He carried us through a convincing roll of an aging, lonely, widower.

This production and its actors deserve a larger venue and more elaborate sets. They don't need it, but they truly deserve it for what they both brought to these rolls.

Thank you, Troy Lakey for choosing to produce, "Visiting Mr. Green." I'm grateful to have seen this production with these actors and such a comfortable venue.

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