Wang Dang


Wang Dang (2014)

Wang Dang (2014)

by Tom Noonan
Directed by George Toles
Featuring Ivan Henwood, Jane Walker, Kerri Woloszyn

It’s 1997. A heat wave, a cheap motel room without air conditioning registered to a career-stalled film director hired for a campus speaking engagement. Three people converge to internally debate the great questions: whether to have casual sex either to boost one’s ego or possibly advance one’s career. A pizza arrives, a drink is spilled, opening the floodgates for existential shenanigans (by turns tense and ludicrous) of the sort that would astonish God Himself, if only He existed. — George Toles, Director

4 STARS. Relationship triangles, we see in this play by American writer Tom Noonan, are tricky to navigate. But watching others try to do it can be very entertaining. Mickey (Ivan Henwood) is a film director whose career has seen better days. He thinks things are looking up when college student Deana (Kerri Woloszyn) and her friend Kim (Jane Walker) end up back at his motel room. But everyone in the room has secrets, and things quickly become complicated. George Toles directs the shifting dynamics of the room smartly. But the piece belongs to Henwood as Mickey – his cocky grin is worth the price of admission alone, and he brings a dangerous, unhinged quality to his performance. Woloszyn and Walker also turn in fine performances. If you’re looking for good character drama – and one of the strangest dance parties you’ve ever seen – give Wang Dang a spin.” — Joff Schmidt, CBC

4 STARS. There’s a reason seduction is called an art. And when you’re a down-on-your-luck filmmaker who is a bit of an egocentric hothead, finding the sweet spot to get people to sleep with you takes more than former glories and vodka. Wang Dang, written by American actor/director Tom Noonan, examines a night in the life of Mickey Hounsell, played to intense perfection by Ivan Henwood, who entertains a film student/fan Deana (Kerrie Woloszyn) in a seedy hotel room following a lecture at a college. She strokes his ego and builds his confidence, but the arrival of her quirky friend Kim (Jane Walker) sets the stage for a tense evening of ups and downs, laughter and tears from this local company. The script is filled with realistic, crackling dialogue, and as the alcohol kicks in, things turn strange. The cast is uniformly excellent and helps sell the story…the final revelation…added another loop to Hounsell’s emotional roller-coaster ride.” — Rob Williams, Winnipeg Free Press

 

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