Vigil Will Touch Your Heart and Make You Laugh
By Anne Campbell
San Miguel Theater Company presents an internationally acclaimed comedy, Vigil, a mixture of humor, suspense, and heart by Canadian Morris Panych, on August 28 and 29 at 7:30pm and August 30 at 5:30pm.
Fri, Aug 28, and Sat, Aug 29, 7:30pm
Sun, Aug 30, 5:30pm
San Miguel Playhouse
Avenida Independencia 82
Audiences worldwide have laughed at the schemes of Kemp, a curmudgeon of epic proportions. He receives a letter from his aunt Grace. Alone and ill, she feels the end is near. Kemp packs his bags and rushes across the country to be at her side. What unfolds will keep you on the edge of your seat with its plot twists and turns.
Ken Albanese, Canadian actor and director, plays the role of Kemp. Maggie Bunce, a New York actress, plays the role of Grace. Noted San Miguel director Henry Vermillion directs Vigil. His stage manager is the highly respected Barbara Ziff.
As the producer, I interviewed the cast, director, and stage manager on the highlights and challenges of realizing this production of Vigil.
Anne Campbell: How does playwright Panych manage to keep his audience so entertained?
Ken Albanese: Panych writes plays that are absurd. Audiences laugh because of the strange and unusual circumstances of the play, the clever lines, and the twists and turns of the plot.
Maggie Bunce: The two characters bumble and fumble and make many mistakes, but in the end —to quote an old but far from worn-out phrase—love conquers all.
AC: What do you both consider to be the message of the play?
KA: The message is about our need for compassion and love, and our obligation towards each other —especially as we age.
MB: In essence, it’s about the mysterious, sometimes twisted, sometimes funny, but ultimately enduring nature of love.
AC: What do you consider to be the greatest challenge of this particular production?
Henry Vermillion (director): It is keeping a balance between Kemp’s wry and very funny monologues and his underlying craving for human connection. Ken Albanese lets us see how all-too-human Kemp—the curmudgeon—really is. Maggie Bunce turns Kemp’s monologues into dialogues simply with her facial expressions and body language.
Barbara Ziff (stage manager): A Rube Goldberg “contraption” tested the creativity and construction skills of set designers and builders. We think audiences will get a kick out of it!
AC: Why did San Miguel Theater Company choose Vigil?
KA: Vigil does three things that I think good theater should do: it touches you, it makes you laugh, and it makes you think. When a play can do all three things together it makes for a very entertaining evening.
Purchase tickets for Vigil (150 pesos) daily at Galería Izamal, Mesones 80 (next to Ángela Peralta), 11am to 3pm and 4 to 8pm. Or email reservation requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Miguel Playhouse is located at Avenida Independencia 82 (Colonia Independencia, five minutes from the Jardin by taxi.) All seats reserved. Doors open one hour before performances. Bar service in the lobby seating area, free secure parking, and taxi co