Roger Rueff's so many words is aptly titled. So Many Words, So Little To Say. Oh, it has a genteel, slick surface that hints at depth, kind of like the lingerie model in the play who's also a mathematician. But it's artificial, cryptic and unbelievably smug.Stanley (CTV broadcaster Robin Ward) is a celebrated writer about to receive an award. Before he walks onstage, we meet his agent (Tedde Moore), the brainy model he just met on an airplane (Jennifer Wigmore) and his wife (Brenda Bazinet, playing another of her put-upon first wives).
Gradually it's revealed that Stanley's 18-year marriage is less than perfect, and that a horrible incident from his past fuels his work.
Rueff's examination of good and evil among the upper-middle set might be more palatable without the clunky dialogue. People say things like "Look here, Miss," and "Stanley's one of the few clear voices in the present age." What is this, a bad translation from the Swedish?
Instead of drawing our attention away from it, director Paul Lampert underlines the stiffness, and only Bazinet gets to deliver a performance that has any humanity in it. Also noteworthy is James Cameron's set.
Dominated by a series of horizontal blinds, it captures the sterility and privacy of a hotel room but also evokes the play's themes of secrets and spiritual blindness more effectively than the production itself.SO MANY WORDS by Roger Rueff, directed by Paul Lampert, with Brenda Bazinet, Robin Ward, Jennifer Wigmore and Tedde Moore. Presented by Actors Repertory Company in association with Artemis Theatre Company at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson). Runs to December 17, Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2:30 pm. $22, stu/srs $18, Sunday pwyc. 504-7529.