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

The Blue Man Group is Back with Their Immense Talent and Boundless Imagination.

Reviewed by on    Musical Theatre, Professional Theatre  


They aren’t white;  they aren’t black; they aren’t blotchy, wrinkled or suntanned and they don’t have acne. Their hair isn’t blond, brown, black or red. It isn’t curly or straight, long or short. They are  three blue, hairless bodies, they are heads  covered with a gooey substance that comes off if you touch it. They don’t talk, they have deadpan faces, big wide eyes and they catch things with their mouths.

They look human but not like any human being you have ever seen. They are not supposed to be aliens because they understand the world around them. They  live in their own space, redefining  their own art form, as they observe our human world, trying to critique  what we do in our world by turning  all current performance art on its head. They are actors, mime artists, percussionists, dancers, visual artists, graphic artists, choreographers, sound designers. They are scientists, sculptors, ethnologists, computer specialists, and comedians! The list is long and unending.  Their talents are immense and their imagination  is boundless.

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Beauté, chalheur et mort: un théâtre thérapeutique se marie à une réflexion sur la représentation du réel.

Reviewed by on    Professional Theatre, Théâtre français  


Nini Bélanger est metteuse en scène, Pascal Brullemans est auteur dramatique. Dans Beauté, chaleur et mort, le couple – nous apprenons à la fin du spectacle qu’il s’agit bien d’un couple-se retrouve ensemble en scène pour la première fois, dans leur propre spectacle. Ils avaient en effet besoin de créer un événement thérapeutique après la mort de leur bébé.
Professionnels du théâtre, ils ont donc pris la décision de marier la difficulté de raconter la mort d’un enfant,  et une réflexion sur la représentation du réel au théâtre. Résultat :une œuvre hyperréaliste où une intimité minimaliste accompagne  une  réflexion sur le rapport entre  réel et temps scénique… Ils se rendent  alors compte que la durée prolongée  et répétée d’une activité douloureuse en scène, transforme la perception de cet événement en un moment profondément « réel » pour le spectateur.

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Three Sisters: A Lively Production by the Drama Guild at the University of Ottawa.

Reviewed by on    Théâtre français, Theatre Schools / University Theatre  

This contemporary  adaptation of Three Sisters which fore grounds all the  potentially bitter sweet  humour in Chekhov’s world, brings  together comedy,  pathos and even  near  tragedy  in a  lively production  by the Drama Guild at Ottawa University, directed and adapted by Peter Froehlich.   One of  Chekhov’s most important plays, Three Sisters,  written near the end of his life (first produced in 1901), has not been  shortened, according to the director,  although given the snappy pace of it all and the comic relief laced with drama that carries it along, one has the impression that this version is much shorter than other versions have been.

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Les Outardes (The Wild Geese) is back in Hull as fresh and as endearing as it was when it first appeared.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Gaby Déziel-Hupé,’s ground breaking play, Les Outardes (The Wild Geese)  has come back to Hull/Gatineau were it was first produced in 1969. Gilles Provost, former director the Le Théâtre de l’Ile (that charming little theatre and former water works  perched on an island in the middle of  Brewers Creek), has remounted a community production of the play which was the  first production of the theatre when it opened in 1976. Julie Giroux’s attractive but simple farm house with the decorations and the way it captures the rural feel by sending us off to different parts of the house  creating a sense of space that engages the imagination.

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This is our Yourth: drugs, sex, foul language and self delusion: more than a little dated in 2 011.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Drugs, sex, foul language and self-delusion, combined with a sense of entitlement. These are the  underpinnings of the world depicted in This is our Youth.

I thank my lucky stars that it was not my youth. Perhaps this is why Kenneth Lonergan’s 1996 drama — set in New York during the Reagan era in 1982 — does not resonate with me.

Admittedly, the dialogue, heavily padded with the f-word and worse, rings true for this threesome of Upper West Side drifters from wealthy backgrounds living through the dropout generation of the 1980s. And, by the end of the play, there is a sense that they have overcome some of their moral confusion, if not their destructive drug habits.

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Production of This is our Youth at Carleton University, is quality work: a turbulent 24 hours in three redeemable lives.

Reviewed by on    Theatre Schools / University Theatre  

Reviewed by Jamie Portman
Kenneth Lonergan’s 1996 play about disaffected, self-absorbed and rudderless young people created quite a stir 15 years ago and ushered its 34-year-old author into a major career. Today, it seems less of a landmark and somewhat redolent of warmed-over Mamet. Yet, it continues to strike a chord within the youth culture, and over the years its pungent naturalistic dialogue, garnished with profane humor and often merciless character analysis, has attracted such outstanding young actors as Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo.

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The Midwinter’s Dream Tale: The Sparkling Frozen World of Oberon and Tatiana as Background for a Brilliant Clown Show!

Reviewed by on    Professional Theatre  


Margo MacDonald (Restes)  and Scott Florence (Pommes frites)

The Company of Fools has returned with The Midwinter’s Dream Tale, that Shakespearean parody that fuses Midsummer Night’s Dream into The Winter’s Tale, transforming the fairy tale world of Oberon and Tatiana into a sparkling, frozen and fairly brilliant clown show.  The clowns become the narrative links in that rather nasty story about the, narcissistic and  jealous  Fairy King Oberon, who tries to destroy the   Fairy Queen’s baby because he is not convinced it is his own.  In a jealous rage, he sends the baby off to be drowned. What follows is the frantic flight away from the king, the frantic search for the child, all accompanied by a desire for  vengeance, and  the appearance of a whole parade of strange creatures including love sick fairies, the fluffy abominable snow creature, a silvery very in your face Puck, a hugely pregnant Tatiana, a frozen wonderland of twinkling snowflakes and beasts whose eyes glow in the dark.  A magnificent show for the whole family with jokes that will amuse the younger children, and other jokes that will tickle the funny bones of the adults.  It speaks to everyone.

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Brown gravy…This episodic structure and the posting of food titles (Fish and ships!!) might suggest a tweaking of brechtian critical realism however, this is mainly all about language.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region.  


The audience howled and squealed with delight as long strings of “ostie”, “crisse”, and “tabarnak”. “ciboire”, “sacrament”, “viarge”, and “câlisse”, just for starters, rolled off the tongue of four   women in Simon Boudreault’s   play Brown Gravy that opened Wednesday night at La Nouvelle Scène.

Given the extensive use of intense Quebecois swear words, as well as the extremely graphics images   referring to various lower body parts, the evening was expected to irritate a few people. Jean Stéphane Roy, artistic director of La Catapulte who programmed Brown Gravy, told the public they could leave quietly by the side door if they found the language too strong.  No one left.

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