LSM Newswire

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jewish lawyer defends neo-Nazi in play CHERRY DOCS

Militant Right & Liberal Left Collide Head-On in "CHERRY DOCS"

Persephone Productions tackles complex social and racially charged issues in CHERRY DOCS, a taut psychological two-hander by Canadian playwright, David Gow from April 16th to 26th at Theatre Ste-Catherine (264 Ste-Catherine East). Written more than 10 years ago, this is the first time a local company stages the play in Gow's hometown, though it gained renewed notoriety in 2006 with Steel Toes, the film version. Since its 1998 premiere, CHERRY DOCS has become one of the most successful dramas in Canadian theatre history, with twenty productions in a number of languages, firmly establishing it in the international repertoire.

The rhythmic text has Danny Dunkelman, a Jewish liberal-minded lawyer, assigned as public defender for Mike Downey, a neo-Nazi skinhead who has kicked an Asian man to death with his cherry red Doc Marten combat boots. "One of the play's issues is that of first impressions," says Director, Gabrielle Soskin. "Mike comes on as a militant bigot, navigating his world guided solely by race. Danny is a successful professional with a strong sense of his Jewish identity. Yet as the two square off for what they both consider a necessary but repugnant partnership, unexpected depths are revealed to themselves, the audience and each other. That peeling away, one layer of the onion at a time, is where the drama lies", she confides. Not one to shy away from tough, provocative subjects, Soskin continues to say, "The play also deals with the possibility of redemption. Can we forgive? Should we forgive? Is it possible for us to change ourselves and our perspective?" It connects with audience and artists alike, demanding a great deal of both, never trying to avoid the full repercussions and complexity of its subject matter. "There is an ambiguity in the conclusion of the play; we are left looking at both sides of the argument and our own personal sensibility will inevitably influence our perspective".

"’Ķa collision of primal and ideological forces [with] no moral high ground and no easy answers"

- Eye Magazine

Dan Jeannotte, a founding member of the improv group Uncalled For with Fringe hits Thunderspank! and Blastback Babyzap, as well as the hugely popular nightly Fringe show, The 13th Hour, plays the zealous neo-Nazi. Winnipeg native, Sean Carney, plays the middle-aged lawyer who gradually becomes obsessed with the case and the offensive delinquent he initially dismisses as a lost cause. Given the company's mandate of providing unique opportunities to new talent, though both actors are not new to the stage, certainly the high-octane role of the pugnacious skinhead is one of Dan's greatest acting challenges to date. For Sean Carney, an erudite McGill theatre professor who is customarily in the position of instructor and director, embarking on the lawyer's arduous journey as he examines his liberal ideology and consequently suffers great loss, is definitely a career highlight.

"This is an epic battle that will leave each man marked by the other's belief."

- The Toronto Sun

Ms. Soskin is assisted in her direction by John Abbott alumnus, Heidi Hawkins, last seen in The Real Inspector Hound. Mee Youn, a recent Concordia graduate who is one of the first to come out of the Segal Internship program under Norberts Muncs, designed the set and lighting. The sound design is provided by Rob Denton with stage management by Mary Davidson.

For additional details, please visit the web site at

Dates & Times: April 16 - 26

Tues. through Sat. 20:00

Weekday Matinˆ©es (April 21, 22, 23 & 24) 12:30

Sunday Matinˆ©es 14:00

Monday DARK


General Admission $21

Seniors, Students, PWM, QDF/Equity $15

Groups (10 or more) $15

Discount Evenings (April 23 & 24) $12


Theatre Ste-Catherine

264 Ste-Catherine East

Box Office:



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