Assassinating Thomson- Review

Meaghan Flaherty

                This show is wonderful! The atmosphere in the theater is so relaxed as writer and performer Bruce Horak presents his story about art, Thom Thomson, and ultimately perspective. Horak, who has 9% vision and is legally blind, paints a portrait of the audience how he sees them as he tells of his love of art, the skills of vision and how his vision compares to this , and eventually how art led him to discovering Thom Thomson and the mystery behind his death. Horak finds many small coincidences between his life and that of Thomson, and comes up with several theories for the audience as to how Thomsons’ death may have been foul play and not the accident that it was claimed to be at the time of his death. The story is engaging, and very funny; we learn so much about Bruce and how he has not only learned to adapt his life to his vision, but also his art, as he sees through a small tunnel in one eye.

This show is a mix of many things- not only artistic disciplines, but styles of storytelling. Horak talks directly to the audience and asks us questions, but also presents us with tons of information, and the chance to interpret that how we will. Horak gives us no answers, only theories, which ties in perfectly to his overarching theme of perspective. He gives us the opportunity to not only see from his perspective (he describes his vision then shows the painting of how he sees the audience) but to use our own judgment as to what we thing may have actually happened to the legendary Thom Thomson. Depsite the relaxed feel, the story is very rigorously structured, as Bruce uses the skills of vision as a Segway from segment to segment, and ends the piece by looking at his painting and saying “It is Finished”. If the murder mystery element of Assassinating Thomson doesn’t grip you, then Horaks’ charm and humor definitely will.  

Presented by Monster Theater

Writtenand Performed by Bruce Horak

Directed by Ryan Gladstone

Playing in the Arts Court Theater