Kellie MacDonald. Criticism class of Patrick Langston. November 18, 2017
From Israel-based dance company L-E-V, co-Artistic Directors Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar present OCD Love at the National Arts Centre’s Babs Asper Theatre. At roughly 55 minutes without intermission, the performance is an exploration of love and obsessive compulsive disorder set to the metronomic ticking of DJ Ori Lichtik’s soundscape. OCD Love keeps audiences on the edge with writhing choreography and repetitive bass-thumping house music. (Continue reading » )
Emily Blake, November 26th 2017
In Patrick Langston’s criticism class.
Silence speaks louder than words, and in that silence is all the meaning in the world. LEV’s OCD Love is a powerful commentary on what it like to be plagued by OCD, shedding light on the realities of those who are faced with this disorder every day. LEV is an Israeli dance company founded by choreographer Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. They are joined by techno musician Ori Lichtik, working together to create this hypnotic masterpiece. (Continue reading » )
Patrick Langston, artsfile.ca preview
October 12, 2017
Johnathan Lorenge.the Wild West Show
A scene from Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show produced by the NAC’s French Theatre department. Photo Johnathan Lorenge.
Gabriel Dumont would be intrigued. Dumont, the ally of Louis Riel and leader of the Métis forces during the 1885 North-West Rebellion against the Canadian government, fled Canada for the U.S. after the rebellion was quashed and Riel hung.
In the U.S., he joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, but he didn’t stick for long. However, it turns out he did dream of creating something similar in Canada to spotlight the struggle of the Métis people to reclaim their rights.
(Continue reading » )
Poster. Courtesy of Phoenix Players
Office Hours By Norm Foster. Directed by Jo-Ann McCabe. Phoenix Players
It’s Friday afternoon at the office, or, more accurately, at six offices, and a regular day of preparing for the weekend away from the city.
The busy week included firing a couple of employees, having a sycophantic encounter with an alcoholic film director out of original ideas, dealing with a couple of potential suicides, a pushy salesman, a self-centred psychiatrist, a domineering mother who believes herself responsible for her son’s sexual orientation, an overweight jockey, a steamy novelist and a dead racehorse. (Continue reading » )
OCD Love (L-E-V Dance) Photo. Courtesy of the National Arts Centre
This latest work by the Israeli dance company LEV Dance, created by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar is a terrifyingly complex moment of corporeal inventiveness that subjected the dancers to the most demanding feat of choreography I have ever seen.
(Continue reading » )
Vigilante, Best professional production. Photo by David Cooper
Photo: Maria Vartanova Best Community production: Other Desert Cities
On November 14, about 200 members of the Theatre community of the nation’s capital gathered in the Salon of the National Arts Centre for the nineteenth annual theatre awards presented by the Capital Critics Circle, for plays presented in English in the National capital region. As Nathan Medd, managing director of the National Arts Centre English theatre stated, this is the only event in the city which brings together members of community, professional and student theatre groups who rarely mingle but who have equally strong traditions in Ottawa. (Continue reading » )
Photo Emon Hassan
The Exterminating Angel
Kellie MacDonald from the Theatre Criticism course of Patrick Langston, U of Ottawa
Widely considered the opera event of the season, this is the North American premiere of acclaimed British composer-conductor Thomas Adès’s newest work. With direction and libretto by Tom Cairns, The Exterminating Angel draws inspiration from the 1962 Luis Buñuel film of the same name. It is, at the same time, thrilling and torturously slow, depicting the descent into madness of a Sartrean dinner party nobody can leave. (Continue reading » )
Shrek: Poster from Orpheus Musical theatre
Book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire.Music by Jeanine Tesori. Based on the Dreamworks animation motion picture and the book by William Steig. Orpheus Musical Theatre Society, directed by Jenn Donnelly.
Shrek: The Musical will never win a place in the annals of great Broadway shows, but the production it receives from Orpheus is nevertheless an ongoing delight.
Forget the fact that the prime reason for its arrival on the Great White Way was somewhat cynical and opportunistic — to capitalize further on the enormous success of the Dreamworks animated movie about a misanthropic swamp-dwelling ogre named Shrek and his rescue of a princess from a tower. Ignore, if you can, the readiness of the stage adaptation to remain faithful to a marketing dictum pursued by the filmmakers — that young audiences find flatulence funny. Accept the reality that Jeanine Tesori’s score can be pretty underwhelming. (Continue reading » )
Poster for Orpheus musical in Ottawa
There have been some remarkable musicals already this early in Ottawa’s theatre season. We had the remarkable Jonathan Larson biographical musical Tick Tick Boom kicking off for Orpheus in the studio theatre at Centrepointe and the clever, innovative Ordinary Days at GCTC. We are now into the Christmas season and the more traditional musical formula is upon us.
Shrek, the classic story of ogre gets girl, ogre loses girl, ogre gets girl wrapped up in a message of inclusion and be true to yourself comes to the Centrepointe theatre from the dedicated and talented community of Orpheus. Oops, I forgot the spoiler alert. Oh well, I doubt that there would be more than two percent of the public that isn’t already familiar with the original DreamWorks animated film of the same name. (Continue reading » )
Poster for Orpheus musical in Ottawa
Book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire; Music by Jeanine Tesori/ Based on the Dreamworks animation motion picture and the book by William Steig
Orpheus Musical Theatre Society directed by Jenn Donnelly
A terrific production can make a believer out of a curmudgeon of a reviewer who has always hated body-noise and bathroom jokes. No doubt about it.
Orpheus Musical Theatre Society‘s Shrek the Musical overcomes the limitations of the script, the generally unmemorable score and assorted loud belches and regular breaking of wind to land a show of stunning quality and great visuals. It also offers a low-key presentation of the message that love and acceptance come in many forms. (Continue reading » )