“The Greening of Life” borrows a theme from the last chapter of an old Monty Python movie most of us remember fondly. This play is written and performed by Peter Ormond and Michael Nabert, with Dea Cappelli performing a supporting role.
Dea starts off the the show playing a widower giving a eulogy for her late husband, a wealthy, respected businessman played by Ormond. The ghost of his character appears at the funeral home where he goes through a transformation with the help of Nabert’s character (a kind of grim reaper) toward enlightenment and redemption.
At first Ormond’s character believes that “riches make a man great.” He measures his worth based on his material possessions, his lavish lifestyle and his status as a successful businessman. He considers himself a good man. He goes to church on Sunday’s, plays the role of a good husband and father and donates money to charity. Heck, he was even vegan for three months!
He cannot appreciate that “money isn’t wealth,” that his mining business has had a devastating impact on the environment for the sake of a trinket and that the workers are exploited. He is detached from the mess he has made. He has a lust for money that will never buy him happiness, a lust that keeps him in a perpetual delusional state of thinking that his life has value, virtue and meaning.
Ormond’s character is initially self centred, focused on the “Ego rather the greater good, the Eco.” He is forced to reflect on his life and question his choices, his values, and his skewed perception of himself.
By the end of the play, he finally gets it. Most of us can relate to his one big regret. He wishes he hadn’t worked so hard and allowed his pursuit of wealth and power to strip him of acknowledging his basic needs, the things that money cannot buy rather than his “wants” which are just a creation of the capitalist society we currently live in.
This powerful play explores the various themes of the self versus the greater good, environmental degradation, greed, politics, social justice, religion and family in a serious but at times playful way. It provokes, it teaches, and entertains without seeming preachy. “The Greening Of Life” is a wonderful, thoughtful play that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
You have one last chance to see this play…today, Sunday, July July 26 at 7:00pm at the Staircase Cafe Theatre (Elaine Mae Theatre).