September, 2017

Café Müller and The Rite of Spring. The Wuppertal Tanztheater returns to its origins

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

The Rite of Spring, Wuppertal Tanztheater at the NAC
Photo Alexandra Campeau

 

The ghost of Pina Bausch was no doubt fluttering with excitement around the NAC last night  as  the contemporary formation  of her company brought us all back to the very origins of  the idea of  Tanzteater , dance that incorporates words,  foregrounds a heightened form of theatricality  and much much more. All that came through very strongly last night in the Opera of the NAC before a packed house, waiting religiously to see the company from Wuppertal perform works that most people have not seen before in Ottawa. (more…)

WARHOLCAPOTE: Their World of Celebrity, Competition, Conversation, Art, and Friendship

Reviewed by Jane Baldwin

Warholcapote
Photo Gretjen Helene

As its title seems to indicate,Warholcapote , a two character play revolves around a relationship so close that both characters are in some way indistinguishable. Both were honored as avant-garde artists of the mid-twentieth century and both were celebrity hounds. Much of Warhol’s art consists of paintings of beautiful and famous actresses, most notably Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, the most prominent movie stars of their time. Nonetheless, he is perhaps most renowned for his pop art paintings of Campbell soup cans and other consumer goods of the middle class of the period. (more…)

GCTC’s Production of You Are Happy Grapples With Modern Relationships

Reviewed by Maja Stefanovska

Photo: JVL Photo

We live in a confusing world, a loud word full of what ifs and shoulds. You Are Happy, the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s season opener, criticizes one of those – the pre-conceived notion of love and being part of a couple. Written by Rébecca Déraspe, translated by Leanna Brodie and directed by Adrienne Wong, the play by no means takes a condescending stance. While satirizing modern relationships with an average turnaround time of two years, at its heart always remains our human need for connection and love.  (more…)

Mothers & Daughters: a light-hearted musical that relies on stereotypes!

Reviewed by Iris Winston

Mothers and Daughters
Photo Maria Vartanova

 

Mothers and Daughters: A Musical,  Book by S. Oscar Martin, Music and lyrics by Jeff Rogers, Rich Rankin, Eric McIntyre, Andy Ladouceur, Zach Martin and S. Oscar Martin

SOME Theatre Company, Salt Dining & Lounge

Directed by Maureen Welch

The locker-room humour featured in Mothers and Daughters elicited a fair amount of laughter from the few men in the audience at the performance I attended. There seemed to be little shared hilarity from the female majority. Perhaps this is because they could not identify as easily with the onslaught of crude remarks and gestures, sexual innuendo and detailed references to body parts. In my experience, women rarely (if ever) talk this way, so forced humour of this type falls to the ground with a heavy thud.

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Mothers & Daughters; World premiere shows much talent but the mother/daughter relationship not sufficiently explored.

Reviewed by James Murchison

Mothers & Daughters
Photo Maria Vartanova

 

We are full throttle into the Ottawa Theatre season with Performances at Ottawa Little Theatre, Kanata Theatre, Central Square and of course the N.A.C. with the GCTC season just around the corner. I chose to attend Mothers & Daughters Friday evening. It is the world premiere of a new musical penned by S. Oscar Martin with music and lyrics by Jeff Rogers, Rich Rankin, Eric MacIntyre, Andy Ladouceur, Zach Martin and S. Oscar Martin. (more…)

Tick…tick…BOOM

Reviewed by Iris Winston

Tick..tick…Boom
Photo Maria Vartanova

 

 

 

Tick…tick BOOM, book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, Script adaptation by David Auburn,  Orpheus Musical Theatre Society

The countdown on the chance of success as a composer is near. Jon (aka Jonathan Larson) sees his thirtieth birthday as the deadline for delivering a hit musical or leaving theatre for a lucrative alternative.

Therefore, anxiety and anger have equal time in his autobiographical chamber musical tick…tick…BOOM! Originally written as a solo rock monologue mourning the fact that the workshop of his musical, Superbia, did not progress to full production, David Auburn (author of the play Proof) turned the show into a piece for three performers after Larson’s death: the anxious composer, his girlfriend, Susan, and his best friend, Michael. (more…)

Rita is still being educated!

Reviewed by Iris Winston

Educating Rita, Photos Maria Vartanova

 

Educating Rita by Willy Russell, Ottawa Little Theatre, Directed by Sterling Lynch

Educating Rita always brings back memories. Not only do visions of Julie Walters and Michael Caine in the 1983 movie version or outstanding performances in previous stage productions of Willy Russell’s 1980 Pygmalion-like tale come to mind, but I flash back to thoughts of Janet — a classmate of mine, briefly, in the UK in the 1950s.

Like Rita, Janet was exceptionally intelligent and from a working-class background. After passing her 11+ examination, (taken at the age of 10 – don’t ask) she was accepted in a prestigious out-of-zone grammar school. Before the end of her first semester, she withdrew and entered a mediocre school close to home, where, she said, she had friends and felt she fitted in with her own kind. (more…)

Yerma from the Young Vic. intense, powerful, an impeccable adaptation of Lorca to the London stage.

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

Yerma at the Young Vic
photo Johan Persson

Yerma in London, as the subtitle states, is a contemporary adaptation of  Federico García Lorca’s Yerma,  a work by one of the great 20th Century Spanish playwrights.  It was written in 1934, two years before the tragic assassination of the writer by Franco’s forces.

Director Simon Stone’s  reworking of the play  sets it in an Expressionist  design environment where the young couple, (she and John as they are mentioned in the cast) are enclosed in a glass case that creates a mirror effect for the audience. We, in the  cinema, see the British audience reflected at the back of the stage so that it gives an impression of an audience sitting on both sides of the stage,  staring into the  most uncomfortably   intimate,   increasingly violent encounters, appearing  as the secular Calvary  of this doomed couple. Gregorian chants, religious and varying forms of music in Spanish and Latin as well as a reference to a particular Japanese death ritual, mark the seven  chapters of the tale that announce  each step of this painful process  in Yerma’s desperate search  to become pregnant. (more…)

Tick, Tick Boom! Intimate and Powerful!

Reviewed by James Murchison

Tick..tick…boom!
Photo Maria Vartanova

I was very intrigued to attend the Orpheus production of Tick Tick Boom. It would be my first time seeing a production in Centrepointe’s more intimate studio theatre. The play is an autobiographical tale of Jonathan Larson’s early years as a struggling artist attempting to write the great American musical while toiling as a waiter and watching his friends prosper in more conventional professions. He would succeed of course, in writing the monstrously popular Rent, but tragically dying a sudden death of aortic dissection caused by Marfan syndrome before he ever got to see a single performance. The spectacular 12 year run on Broadway, was awarded a plethora of awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Larson, sadly posthumously.  (more…)

Constellations: A Relationship Held Together by String Theory

Reviewed by Jane Baldwin

Constellations
Photo. A.R.Sinclair

Cambridge’s Central Square Theatre is presently showing Nick Payne’s imaginative Constellations under the auspices of the Underground Railway Theatre as a Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT. Every year a play whose source is scientific knowledge is offered at the Central Square Theatre and supported by MIT as a means of amalgamating art and science.   (more…)

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