March, 2013

False Assumptions: The title says it all!

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

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Poster from the production.

Lawrence Aronovitch’s latest play has an extremely interesting content.  It  revolves around the meeting between three eminent women mathematicians/scientists, emerging from different periods of  western history (400 BC, the 19th century and the early 20th century) who find themselves together  in a global space/time, on the upper level of the set, filled with  books and records. These are remnants of Marie Curie’ archives. These woman have been summoned back from the past by a young girl, a factory worker  who is dying of radium poisoning.  She wants explanations. 

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Harvey: Time for invisible rabbit to hop off stage

Reviewed by Iris Winston

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It is not an easy task to convince an audience of the existence of a six-foot invisible white rabbit. And it never happens in the current Kanata Theatre production of Harvey by Mary Chase.

In fact, the biggest surprise, in view of this presentation, is that Harvey won a Pulitzer Prize. Even in 1944, there were surely more effective and worthy shows than this comedic chestnut.

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The National Arts Centre unveils spectacular 2013-2014 Dance programming

News from Capital Critics Circle

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Karina Champoux et Éric Robidoux dans Foudres, chorégraphie : Dave St-Pierre .

Photo : Wolfgang Kirchner

Highlights include the much-anticipated return of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Akram Khan Company and Face 2 Face

OTTAWA, March 28, 2013 — Cathy Levy, Dance Producer at the National Arts Centre, today released details of a sensational new season of NAC Dance. Highlights of the 2013-2014 season include the first appearance since 2001 in the Ballet Series of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal; the welcome return of a reinvigorated Dance Theatre of Harlem, in their first NAC appearance since 1998; Akram Khan’s spectacular solo DESH; and the second iteration of the Face 2 Face series, featuring four artists making their NAC debuts.

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False Assumptions: An “A” for effort

Reviewed by Jeunes critiques

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Brianna McFarlane is a student in Yana Meerzon’s Theatre Criticism class at the University of Ottawa

Photo: David Pasho

When Marie Curie discovered radium in 1898 she had no idea that not only would her workgreatly impact the world of science, but that her life would inspire millions for years to come. False Assumptions was written by local playwright Lawrence Aronovitch as a special commission for the graduating class of the Ottawa Theatre School and is being directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik in partnership with Plosive Productions this March at the Gladstone.

Each year the graduating cohort is paired with a professional theatre company and is expected to stage a production under real world restrictions such as a four week rehearsal period and getting to workshop a brand new script. The aim is to prepare the class for the professional community as well as to show off the skills they’ve acquired over the last three years. After seeing the inaugural performance it’s easy to see that half of the class “radiate” these skills, while the others look like they’re just ending their first year in the program.

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María Pagés : a force of nature, a delicately wild “bruja” who inspired Nobel Prize winner José Saramago

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

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Photo courtesy of the National Arts Centre.

Flamenco acquired an entirely new meaning with this Self-portrait choreographed by María Pagés. The evening was made up of various moments inspired by the development of her personal and artistic life, each moment emerged from one of several  Flamenco rhythms that defined the form, the  style and the atmosphere of her choreography so she was never at all removed from the Flamenco origins of her work which showed  all the traces of its Sephardic, Arabic and Moroccan origins . What was exceedingly beautiful to watch was Mme Pagés herself unfolding like some gracefully wild creature reconnecting with the earth.

Her whole body flows to one sweeping movement as her arms curl up in the air, and then wrap themselves around her body as it appears to sink into the ground or expand into the air and then swoop back to the stage as she takes her cuadra in hand and lovingly imposes her domination on the group.  Her solos took her  somewhere  between the natural elements of the earth, and an enchanting witch who dissolves into the shadows, bringing a highly sophisticated  rereading of a dance form that is both  graceful, wild,  magic and animalistic, almost as if a new species had come to life.

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Merz is A-Merzing!

Reviewed by Jeunes critiques

Peter_FroehlicPeter Froehlich knows Merz! 

Brie McFarlane is with Yana Meerzon’s course on Theatre criticism at the University of Ottawa.

Prepare to have everything you thought you knew about the theatre thrown out the window in
Merz, composed by Kurt Schwitters and directed and performed by Peter Froehlich, because this show knows no boundaries and is not to be missed this April at the Irving Greenberg Centre. Brought to Ottawa for a three day fundraiser on behalf of the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Froehlich is no stranger to this piece having toured it sporadically since 1976. It is clear that Froehlich’s deep knowledge of the Dadaist period and his passion for theatre is what makes this show so merz-merising.

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The Fools for World Theatre Day: Fourth Stage at the NAC

News from Capital Critics Circle

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Wednesday March 27th,2013
National Arts Centre,Fourth Stage
53 Elgin Street,  Ottawa.
The Doors open at 7:00 pm and the  fun begins at 7:30 pm

In  celebration of World  Theatre Day,theatre companies from across the region come together to compete in a “Contest of Creation.”The participating companies will have only 48 hours  to write,rehearse and produce a brand new piece of theatre from objects of inspiration provided to them by the other competitors.

A storm of creativity is unleashed and the results presented for the audience and panel of esteemed but easily bribed judges on  Wednesday March 27th,2013 at the National Arts Centre,Fourth Stage.  Hilarity is the result!  It’s all in good fun and the prize?  Why the world renowned and highly coveted Rubber Chicken Award and bragging rights as Ottawa’s Best Theatre Company!  Tickets are now  available through the NAC Box Office and Ticketmaster. Proceeds to the  ALS Society of Canada

Photo: Margo Macdonald and Scott Florence : the best of  Fools!

World Theatre Day, March 27. Events in Ottawa and the Official Message from Dario Fo in English and in French.

News from Capital Critics Circle

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Dario Fo, the actor, writer and director who inherited and transmitted the Commedia dell’arte tradition,won the Nobel prize in 1997,

Today, his official message for World Theatre Day (2013), published by the International Theatre Institute,  follows in English and French, translated from Italian

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A long time ago, the people in power  resolved the intolerance against Commedia dell’Arte actors by chasing them out of the country.

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Portrait of Dario Fo. Photo taken at the Venice Carnival in Italy, February 2009.
Copyright © Marina Muolo

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LaTraviata in Concert. Opera Lyra sets higher standards

Reviewed by Jamie Portman

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Photo: Eddie Hobson.Jonathan Estabrooks sings Baron Douphol in La Traviata by Verdi for Opera Lya

Concert performances of opera can often be problematic., and you can experience a severe let-down when the performers essentially drop anchor once they arrive on stage, disregard the drama and proceed on the assumption that their only job is to sing the music.

But Opera Lyra happily sets higher standards. They have trotted out that old war horse, La Traviata, and delivered a thrilling experience both musically and dramatically.

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Three Chekhov Shorts: 33 Swoons at Algonquin College.

Reviewed by Patrick Langston

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Photos of set by Judy Deboer

Hard to say whether it’s exactly 33, but there are a heck of a lot of swoons in these three sharp-clawed swipes at pretence, greed and general bourgeois unpleasantness in Anton Chekhov’s Russia circa 1890.
Seems there’s always someone overcome with the vapours – a surfeit of foolishness apparently being as detrimental to brain function as a lack of oxygen – in these deliciously savage plays: The Proposal, The Bear and The Jubilee.
Directed by Mary Ellis and delivered with enthusiasm if not always texture, the show features students from Algonquin College’s theatre arts program.

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