REVIEW: THE WHISTLEBLOWER at the Denver Center
by Dianna Hancock
There has always been a resounding question, often understood as a part of the human condition, that hovers in the back of everyone’s mind. The question of course, is of purpose. What exactly is my purpose? What is our purpose? What can I do that can fill my soul and push me into a life that is satisfying and whole? While many productions examine this question, few do so as well as The Whistleblower.
Often the term “whistleblower” is associated with big corporations or government, and individuals “blowing the whistle” on broken laws or operations within said systems. In a clever spin, Itamar Moses uses the term in a slightly twisted way, instead creating a character as a whistleblower for his own life and those around him. Eli is a thirty-something who is working towards creating his own tv series. He has clearly been in the industry for a few years, having an agent and network already established. When he successfully pitches a new tv show idea, he is suddenly aware that his life is not what he wanted. Surrounded by what he perceives as a world of lies, he abruptly “blows the whistle.” As the surrounding characters close to Eli deal with his somewhat intense transformation, Eli continues to spout truths and observations about his own life and those of his friends and family that most find disarming, including the audience. With skill and stabbing precision, Moses creates a character expertly portrayed by Karl Miller that pulls individuals into the play and onto the stage. Somewhat unnervingly, Eli chooses to throw into the world all the thoughts and analyzations that deeper thinkers tend to silently take note of. He becomes the uncomfortable truth that people are too afraid to acknowledge, or too stubborn to admit to.
The entire cast and crew truly brought out all the stops, propelling the story forward in a beautifully masterful spectacle. The Space Theater was cleverly manipulated in this surround style stage, one scene expertly manipulated into the next with the use of all entry and exits from the stage. Most of the cast was challenged with portraying multiple characters, a feat which all excelled spectacularly. There was energy and intensity within each scene, broken with the random comical undertones to lighten the depth of each scene. Overall, The Whistleblower extremely well produced, both by cast and crew and the director, Oliver Butler.
Leaving the theater was slightly surreal, whiplashed as I was. Truth had been shoved into the blinding stage lights, but it wasn’t just the truth that each character was or was not facing. Instead, this truth was everyone’s truth. All of the characters had flaws and lies shoved down and hidden away that we all as people face. Despite this, instead of feeling defeated and slightly overwhelmed, I was inspired and awed at the skill with which it had transformed my internal struggles. If you want to face down some hard truths, or perhaps are merely intrigued with this type of whistleblower, you can NOT afford to miss this play.
THE WHISTLEBLOWER is engaging audiences now through March 10th at the Stage Theatre in the Denver Center Complex. For tickets or more information, contact the Denver Center Box Office by calling 303-893-4100 or online at www.denvercenter.org.
PHOTO CREDIT: Adams VisCom