Arrabal: A Story of Love and Politics Told through the Tango

Reviewed by Jane Baldwin

Photo: Celia Von Tiedeman.

Arrabal, now playing at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge in its U.S. début, premiered in Toronto in 2014. In its present state, it is a fascinating theatre experience, a political drama told without words via the tango and music. It is also an immersive show where some audience members, supposedly at a tango club in Buenos Aires, sit at tables downstage as well as on the orchestra floor, which had several rows of seats removed. In the first scene which takes place in the present spectators are invited to join the performers onstage for a tango lesson.

The joyous mood changes abruptly as the story begins. A projection announces that it is 1976, the year in which Isabel Peron’s government was overthrown by a right-wing junta. We meet Rodolfo (Julio Zurita), an endangered resistant, bringing his infant daughter to his mother who lives in a slum (arrabal in Spanish) outside Buenos Aires. He dances a tender tango with baby Arrabal (a word also associated with the tango) before putting her into the bassinet and leaving her a red scarf. (more…)

TotoToo’s Priscilla a transport of delight

Reviewed by Jamie Portman

Photo: Maria Vartanova

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (The Musical)
Book by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott
Musical arrangements and orchestrations by Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy
Developed for the stage by Simon Phillips
Based on the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
TotoToo Theatre
Directed by Michael Gareau

In a way, Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert revels in its own ramshackle, cheeky improbability. That’s what made it so endearing back in 1994 when it lumbered onto cinema screens as a delightful road movie. We were treated to the spectacle of two drag queens, along with an aging transgendered woman who serves as both nanny and mentor to them, journeying across the Australian outback for a performance gig at the remote Northern Territory town of Alice Springs.

(more…)

PRESS RELEASE from: THE RURAL ROOT THEATRE Co.

News from Capital Critics Circle

Two Fundraising Shows to Support Constance Bay FLOOD RELIEF

Hello,

Rural Root Theatre is asking for any help you can provide towards advertising the revival of our most recent play “Ghost of a Chance”.

As I am sure you are aware, the village of Constance Bay in West Carleton has been severely affected by the recent flooding of the Ottawa River. Our performance venue is the Main Hall in the Constance and Buckham’s Bay Community Centre.  We had to cancel our last show on May 6th because the hall was needed for an emergency shelter/operations centre. (more…)

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Offers Thoughtful, Flamboyant Fun

Reviewed by Iris Winston

Photo: Maria Vartanova

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (The Musical)
Book by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott
Musical arrangements and orchestrations by Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy
Developed for the stage by Simon Phillips
Based on the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
TotoToo Theatre
Directed by Michael Gareau

It’s camp, caring, charming and costumed — Oh boy! Is it costumed!

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (The Musical) is a highly entertaining jukebox musical that shoehorns 27 pop and disco favourites — especially drag performance favourites — from the 1970s and 80s into a rickety bus (Priscilla) traveling across the Australian desert from Sidney to Alice Springs. (more…)

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: Brilliant production of an important play

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

Photo: Maria Vartanova

Toto Too never  stops outdoing itself  and this ultra-energized performance under the direction of Michael Gareau proves it once again. It all  glows and glitters with the marvelous costumes of the  drag Queen world,  (created by designer Lu-Anne Connell ), the stunning  singing voices , the  excellent acting  and Paddy Allen McCarthy’s all-encompassing choreography,  take over  the original  music and lyrics that transgress  the established codes of  the musical world.  Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a brilliant monument to a shifting world where every human individual is given a space of one’s own.   (more…)

Kanata Theatre’s Treasure Island turns to dross

Reviewed by Jamie Portman

Photo: Kanata Theatre

“I don’t do nuance,” George W. Bush once famously observed. Neither does Kanata Little Theatre when it comes to bringing Treasure Island to the stage. The people involved in this noisy, strident, generally unsubtle offering seem to think it’s being mounted in the cavernous Canadian Tire Centre just down the road rather than in the intimate Ron Maslin Playhouse. Too often, Wendy Wagner’s production seems more of a shouting match rather than a proper performance with both the Robert Louis Stevenson
novel on which it is based, as well as Ken Ludwig’s stage adaptation, often perishing in the din.
To be sure, there are some good things about the production The design factor is spectacularly successful. Karl Wagner’s set works wonderfully both as the Admiral Benbow Inn and as a vessel in search of buried treasure. Wagner is also responsible for the atmospheric lighting, while Maxine Ball deserves credit for the outstanding costumes and Robert Fairbairn scores with the show’s soundscape. Fight choreographer Aaron Lajeunesse has come through with some nimbly executed swordplay. And the scene changes are fluidly managed. (more…)

Treasure Island: Mediocre production with great technical elements

Reviewed by Iris Winston

Photo: Kanata Theatre

Treasure Island
By Ken Ludwig
Adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson
Kanata Theatre
Directed by Wendy Wagner

The treasure to be found in the Kanata Theatre production of Treasure Island is its design and technical achievement.

But much of the rest of Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventure story — written to entertain his stepson, with “no need of psychology of fine writing”— is boring, repetitive and noisy in the KT production, directed by Wendy Wagner. (more…)

Cap Excellence en Théâtre présente “Circulez”

News from Capital Critics Circle

Photo: Scarlett Jesus, mai 2017, Festival Cap Excellence.
Circulez avec Joel Jernidier

 

 « Circulez ! »,   ou comment une stratégie d’évitement permet de résister à l’autorité.

de Scarlett Jesus

Jeudi 11 mai, à la salle Tarer de Pointe-à-Pitre, la Martinique était à l’honneur avec « Wopso », une pièce de Marius Gottin, mise en scène par José Exelis et interprétée par deux acteurs de talents Emile Pelty et Charly Larandy. Fulbert et Auguste ne se connaissent pas. Ils sont vieux et terriblement seuls, traînant avec leurs valises un passé qui leur remonte à la gorge, tels des hoquets. Wopso ! (more…)

« L’Autre Rive » – “La Otra Orilla” de Ulises Cala

News from Capital Critics Circle

— Par Selim Lander —
Spectacle présenté à Fort-de-France, Martinique
« Jusqu’où faut-il aimer ? Il faudrait un manuel pour expliquer cela. »

Cette phrase prononcée par un homme qui va émigrer en abandonnant sa fille n’est qu’un aspect d’un texte qui brasse toutes sortes de sentiments, de sensations, depuis les jeux amoureux pleins de malice jusqu’à la désespérance profonde en passant par les moments d’attente indécise hantés par la crainte des « persécuteurs ». Nous sommes sur une île, Cuba sans nul doute, entourée d’une « mer interdite ». La télévision qu’on entend parfois s’exprime en espagnol (« la télévision est une chose répugnante » répètera l’homme à plusieurs reprises).Ils sont deux comédiens qui interprètent plusieurs rôles, principalement celui d’un homme et d’une femme sur le chemin de l’exil. Ils attendent le passeur qui les conduira sur l’autre rive d’un fleuve (ou n’est-ce pas plutôt le détroit entre Cuba et la Floride ?), vers leur eldorado.
(more…)

Cap Excellence : Quand la scène théâtrale tend un miroir à la société.

News from Capital Critics Circle

Succédant à ce qui fut le Festival des Abymes, Guadeloupe, la 6ème édition de Cap Excellence théâtre, organisée à l’initiative de la communauté des trois communes Abymes, Baie-Mahaut et Pointe-à-Pitre, propose du 09 au 14 mai 2017 un programme autour du thème « La quête du mieux-être ».
L’observation de la programmation semble révélatrice de certains choix.
On constate, en premier lieu, une diversité liée à l’origine différente des compagnies (de Guadeloupe, de Martinique, de France et de Côte d’Ivoire). Une autre diversité est celle des lieux de représentations, situés dans différentes salles et établissements scolaires des trois communes. Ajoutons à cela une diversité évidente de formes, le festival proposant des représentations, des lectures, une déambulation et de nombreux ateliers pédagogiques. (more…)

Past Reviews