George and Lennie are nobodies, laborers living in a bunkhouse in the Salinas Valley.
(“Guys like us are the lonliest guys in the world…”)
But these two guys have a dream, and they’ve talked it through at least a hundred times.
(“Someday, we’re going to get the jack together, and we’re going to have a house, and a couple acres, and a cow…”
A dream can be a good thing, a goal. But these guys yearn for something that’s really beyond their reach, and that sets up this story’s tragic outcome. George and Lennie are icons, representing California literature the way Half Dome represents Yosemite. Seeing actors Jason Kuykendall and Matt K. Miller tackle these characters is kind of like observing an experienced photographer working at a famous location, seeking his own interpretation. Kuykendall’s Lennie is more childlike than usual, while Miller’s George has a shorter fuse. But these interpretations work, and Steinbeck’s story is as powerful now as it was in the 1930s.
"Of Mice and Men" plays at the Sacramento Theatre Company through November 11th.