“Mice and Men” has staying power
***1/2 RATING | Good use of new theater
By John Moore
Denver Post Theater Critic
f anyone has wondered why the Arvada Center needed its intimate new studio theater, “Of Mice and Men” offers up the best reason to date. Effectively mingling material, manpower and edifice, Terry Dodd’s confident new staging breathes life into an American classic that by all rights should have choked on its own dust decades ago.
Instead, it turns vibrant and urgent in the new theater’s closer quarters.
“Of Mice and Men” is, of course, John Steinbeck’s 71-year-old tumbleweed about frontier hobos living off the fat of a land that, ironically, has no fat to live off of. And while it may not have been swallowed whole in the cavernous mainstage theater next door, it would have lost in immediacy and contrast. Here, loyal dreamer George’s contained introspection is effectively set against the David’s- eye view the audience gets of Lennie, the enormous, sweet simpleton capable of unintentional violence at any time.
After all, the closer you stand to a giant, the more gigantic he seems.
Different mice, same men
Lesser characters carry tragic torches in Steinbeck classic
By Lisa Bornstein, Rocky Mountain News
Friday, February 8, 2008
With a familiar tale, sometimes the biggest gift a new production gives is taking a lesser character and casting him in a new light.
In the Arvada Center production of Of Mice and Men, directed by Terry Dodd, the most moving moments come not from George and Lennie – although the climax is, as always, crushing – but from Candy, a beaten old farmhand given life and pathos by Louis Schaefer.