Somewhere along the journey from being the achingly beautiful lead in John Greyson’s Lilies, to guest spots on Train 48 and Relic Hunter, to his current stage work, Jason Cadieux has become a very talented actor. In Hard Ways, his new one-man show currently being performed at SummerWorks, he proves that he isn’t a bad playwright either.
The premise is simple: a man is detained by customs officers after attempting to enter the United States with seventeen thousand dollars in a money belt under his shirt and taken to a room to wait. However, everything is not as it seems, and as Cadieux spins his tale of border-crossing, gambling and Niagara Falls to his unseen captors, things start to take a notably sinister bent.
The script is great, and Cadieux really delivers a tour-de-force performance, slowly losing his cool by small increments until the piece reaches its final, gut-wrenching revelation. The play also happens to be rather hilarious, as full of witty Canadian in-jokes as heartfelt poignancy. This is definitely a show worth checking out.