The job interview from hell is played out magnificently in The Grönholm Method, which takes the audience on a psychological thrill ride. Plot twists abound, and there is an abundance of clever humor, as well as much to think about after seeing the show with tremendous relevance to the cutthroat corporate world.
The stage is set with a pristine modern office suite where four will vie for a top position with a Fortune 500 company. The cold setting belies the flood of emotions that will fill the room during the play’s riveting rapid-fire 90-minute length.
The Grönholm Method is used to test management candidates. It becomes a cruel game conducted by an unseen force, making them jump through emotional hoops.
Unfazed by the bizarre screening process is Frank (Jonathan Cake), insensitive to everything except winning the dream job. Cake plays the role with subtle brilliance, and delivers the funniest cold-blooded lines. His venomous sarcasm rips into the others, yet Cake makes this unlikable character utterly fascinating.
Rick (Stephen Spinella) is a fidgety fellow who has a knack for being the group irritant, but Spinella makes him surprisingly sympathetic. Melanie (Lesli Margherita) is an uptight lady who is the most unpredictable, and the character is a showcase for Margherita’s talents. Carl (Graham Hamilton) is the sensitive type who seems out of place with the others, until Hamilton gets his moments to play against type.
All have secrets and the skilled direction of BT McNicholl makes the most out of the plot twists from playwright Jordi Galceran, translated by Anne Garcia-Romero and Mark St. Germain. Lighting designer Jennifer Schriever also deserves praise, along with scenic designer Brian Webb, sound designer Cricket Myers, and costume designer Ann Closs-Farley.
The Grönholm Method runs through Sept. 30 at the Falcon Theatre.