By Diana SaengerIt was while watching a performance of Samuel Hunter and Davis McCallum’s production of “The Whale” at Playwrights Horizons that actor Gideon Glick said he became enthralled with their work. That’s why he jumped at a chance to play Matthew in their world premiere of “The Few,” opening Sept. 28 at the Old Globe in Balboa Park.
Adapting to life’s changes is a prominent theme in the show. The Globe reports, “It’s a funny and bighearted play about our longing for connection and the barriers we place in our way.”
“When I read the script, I felt connected to the character in terms of my life, as I’ve been playing a teenager for a long time,” Glick said. “Matthew is struggling with his idea of life. He has to become acclimated (to reality) to accept what life really is. Expectations have to change and that’s a big thing Matthew has to deal with, and for me, as an actor, as well. I’m 25 and have to change from teenage roles to more mature roles, so this part felt like a good segue for me.”
“The Few” is set in an RV in Idaho where a trio struggles to keep a small town newspaper alive. The publication is mostly financed by personal ads from lonely truck drivers. When QZ (Eva Kaminsky) discovers Bryan (Michael Laurence), the publisher and her former boyfriend, is returning to town, it’s obvious that things are about to change.
“Playwright Sam Hunter is from Idaho and writes what he knows,” Glick said. “He touches on something that is different than big plays that are glitzy and sexy by creating these great, almost mythic, American characters. I feel ‘The Few’ is almost a companion piece to ‘The Whale,’ which follows a man who struggles with his obesity. In watching this humongous man on stage, I had never seen anything like that; it was almost magical and something bigger than one’s self. The character, Bryan, in ‘The Few,’ is similar. My character, Matthew, romanticizes this great American wanderer who has seen the heart of America.”
“The Few” also features the voices of 17 San Diegans, who portray the characters placing personal ads via an answering machine to the play’s struggling newspaper.
Glick said the cast — which also includes Jenny Bacon (voice of Cindy) — is wonderful, and he finds working with both the same director and playwright of “The Whale” and “The Few” has advantages.
“They’ve collaborated on several plays, so it’s comforting to be part of that relationship because they have a lot of trust in each other, and that trust gets handed down to the actors,” Glick said.
He added that he believes audiences will quickly identify with this story.
“Sam Hunter has a great pool of empathy for his characters,” Glick said. “That happens in this play as well as in ‘The Whale.’ These characters are flawed for the most part, yet we care about them so much that the audience hooks into that, and it’s a very moving experience at the end.”
If you go■ What: ‘The Few’
■ When: Matinees, evenings Sept. 28- Oct. 27
■ Where: Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre at The Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park in San Diego
■ Tickets: From $29
■ Box Office: (619) 234-5623
TheOldGlobe.org■ Insights Seminar: 7 p.m. Sept. 30, free
■ Post-Show Forums: Oct. 9, 15 and 22, free