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Review: Misery

BY SHERI RADFORD

Apr. 2018

Andrew McNee and Lucia Frangione. Set design by Lauchlin Johnston, costume design by Stephanie Kong, and lighting design by Andrew Pye. Photo by David Cooper.

It’s hard to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. And when those shoes belong to an Oscar-winning powerhouse such as Kathy Bates, the challenge is multiplied. Fortunately, Lucia Frangione is more than up to the task. She slips into the part of “number one fan” Annie Wilkes with a crazed gleam in her eye and fully inhabits the role, making it her own without ever veering into creepy caricature.

Andrew McNee and Lucia Frangione. Set design by Lauchlin Johnston, costume design by Stephanie Kong, and lighting design by Andrew Pye. Photo by David Cooper.

Andrew McNee shines in the equally challenging role of novelist Paul Sheldon, who’s rescued and then imprisoned by Annie. Though confined to either a bed or a wheelchair for almost the entire show, McNee brings an impressive physicality to his character, most notably in the scene where he tries desperately to crawl out of his bedroom-cum-prison cell.

The house itself functions almost as a third character, one that shifts and changes like a funhouse nightmare come to life. With the opening or closing of a door, rooms transform into other rooms, as if by black magic.

Lucia Frangione and Andrew McNee. Set design by Lauchlin Johnston, costume design by Stephanie Kong, and lighting design by Andrew Pye. Photo by David Cooper.

Adapted from the novel by Stephen King and subsequent movie written by William Goldman, Misery stands the test of time. Don’t miss all the murderous mayhem, to May 5, 2018, at the Granville Island Stage.

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