Capital Critics' Circle
Le cercle des critiques de la capitale

Reviewing Theatre in Canada's Capital Region
La critique théâtrale de la région Ottawa-Gatineau

Speed the Plow : the cast produces a probing performance of this corrosive demolition jon on the pretensions of industry movers and shakers.

Reviewed by on    Professional Theatre  


Hollywood power brokers can be so entrenched in their own self-regarding culture that they often have a skewed awareness, not only of the world outside but of what they themselves are really like.

So the set designed by Ivo Valentik for this new Ottawa production of Speed The Plow, David Mamet’s corrosive demolition job on the pretensions of industry movers and shakers, seems entirely appropriate to the occasion. It is, in its own way, a thing of bizarre beauty — a marvel of rampaging black and white lines dislocated by odd angles, distorted doorways and a cunningly raked floor — which keeps wreaking havoc with perspective.

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The Infernal Comedy or Confessions of a Serial Killer by ArtsEmerson at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage   ,

John Malkovich, an orchestra, and two lovely sopranos (Sophie Klubmann and Claire Meghnagi) whisked into town, gave two presentations of The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer and left. This strange performance piece – part one-man show, part Baroque concert – has been touring intermittently since 2008, playing one- or two-night stands, mostly in Europe. The ArtsEmerson engagement was Infernal Comedy’s U.S. premiere of the fully staged version.

As the show begins the orchestra is onstage, the conductor Martin Haselböck enters and an overture is played. John Malkovich walks on dressed in a white suit, black polka-dotted shirt, and white shoes. He wears sun glasses and carries a clipboard. At Boston’s Majestic Theatre, the audience responded to his celebrity and charisma with great applause. He was, after all, the reason that most were there.

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