Imaginary meeting digs deep in ‘Last Session’

  • <b>REVIEW | </b>By Dale Burrows For The Weekly Herald
  • Tuesday, April 3, 2012 7:30pm

They didn’t. But what if Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis had met for afternoon tea in London the day Hitler invaded Poland?

To that question, Taproot offers you an answer from which you can run but not hide. The answer is a simple and straightforward; heartwise, we are all in the same boat.

The window dressing is, of course, “Freud’s Last Session” as suggested to playwright Mark St. Germain by Harvard professor Dr. Armand M. Nicholi Jr.’s “The Question of God.” All of which translates as: A writer wrote a play about a book about a question written by an academic.

Add to that, the question involved has to do with something that never happened 70 years ago.

How far removed from life lived today can you get, I asked myself going in. Zero is the answer I came out with.

Adamant atheist and founder of psychoanalysis Freud (Nolan Palmer) and born-again Christian and world-renowned proponent of faith based on reason Lewis (Matt Shimkus) do indeed lock horns on the question of God’s existence but without splitting hairs, always within the bounds of civility and in spite of the reality of Freud’s advancing cancer of the mouth and World War II breaking out in Europe.

Between periodic radiobroadcasts of Nazi troop movements in Poland and spells of Freud coughing up blood, Palmer and Shimkus do profile an all-absorbing encounter of two movers, shakers and shapers of intellectual thought, but not at the expense of their humanity.

In his “Director’s Notes,” Producing Artistic Director Scott Nolte advises “… listen in on the conversation and draw your own conclusions.”

I did and I have.

Taproot’s “Freud’s Last Session” reduces down to the enchantment of a sick and dying old man taking tea with a promising young man; one having already contributed, the other hoping to and both dedicated to lighting the way ahead.

Not a bad way of staging life, death and meaning, don’t you think?

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‘Freud’s Last Session’

WHEN: Through April 21

WHERE: Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St., Seattle

TICKETS: $29-$37, available by calling 206-781-9707 or go to