SALT WATER MOON by David French
A Theatre 3X60 Production
Directed by Carey Nicholson, with Lexi MacRae and Michael Williamson
In honour of the 150th celebration of Confederation, Theatre 3x60 is to be commended for its’ mandate of producing highly professional Canadian drama with David French’s sentimental SALT WATER MOON, a lovely two-hander actor’s piece of the Mercer family set in rural Newfoundland in the late nineteenth century. Mr. French has written a series of five plays involving the Mercer family, and it is SALT WATER MOON that is frequently produced on many stages around our country.
To pass the time waiting for her fiancé, Jerome, to come and visit her, Mary Snow (Lexi MacRae) looks at the moon and stars with a telescope. Enter Jacob Mercer (Michael Williamson), Mary’s former beau who just ‘happens’ to appear on the road to Mary’s house. Jacob left Newfoundland abruptly the year before to seek his fortune in the big city of Toronto. One can only begin to imagine Mary’s shock given the fact Jacob left her without any explanation. To move on with her life, she made the decision to get married and start again. Jacob still believes Mary loves him and he tries his best to get her to change her mind about Jerome. The question arises if true love will prevail.
At the opening Saturday afternoon performance, Ms. Nicholson has lovingly treated this tender story with much respect and reverence of the material. The set is minimalist which is a bonus given the fact Nicholson allows us, as audience, to picture in our minds how long that road is for Jacob as he makes his way to see Mary. The soundscape of waves in the opening moments before the story begins beckons us to a seaside coast far removed from any large metropolis Canadian city.
Ms. MacRae and Mr. Williamson, who are entering their second year of the Acting Program at George Brown College, deliver solid performances as SALT WATER MOON is a challenging piece since actors must sustain convincingly the East Coast vocal tonality for well over one and a half hours. For the most part, MacRae and Williamson evoke believably they are East Coasters. Mr. Williamson’s impish grin and smirk upon his entrance lets us know he is a man on mission to win back the girl he truly loves and nearly lost. Ms. MacRae is fiery and feisty as Mary Snow who appropriately puts Jacob in his place periodically while reminding him that she, too, has been changed by events from his sudden departure.
By the end of SALT WATER MOON, we have seen the worst and best of Mary Snow and Jacob Mercer. We root for each of them individually as we learn of the turmoil in their lives and what brought them to this point in which they now find themselves. We root for them at the conclusion because we know they belong together.
SALT WATER MOON continues performances on the following dates: July 11, 12, 20, 21 and 22 at 8 pm and July 15 at 2 pm at Port Perry’s Town Hall 1873 (302 Queen Street). Tickets may be purchased at the door before each performance or at www.townhall1873.ca. For further information about Theatre 3x60 visit the website.