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 Clean House. A play that is far beyond the capacity of this company!!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

The Clean House       Photo: Poster thanks to  Three Sisters Theatre Company


The Clean House by  Sarah Ruhl

I have become suspicious of local productions that advertise a version  of the same play that has been a  big hit in New York!! This assumes that the audience cannot distinguish between a production  in one city and a production in another city .  In the case of the Three Sisters production of  The Clean House,  that New York reference created enormous expectations that were soundly trounced by this show at the Gladstone. (Continue reading » )

Les Misérables: A resounding artistic success that rips at your heart!

Reviewed by on    Opera, Theatre in Canada, Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Nick Cartell as Jean Valjean in the prologue
les Miserables

It was the opening night in Ottawa of this newest 2017 version of Les Misérables. The original  French text  of the stage presentation   first  appeared in  1987  ( Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel). Later  adapted   for the  English language stage by James Fenton , Trevor Nunn and John Caird,)  both musical versions have been seen at the NAC. The production is under the  general direction of Laurence Connor and James Powell. (Continue reading » )

SIENA by la Veronal : Self contemplation, imagined self- destruction and a terrifying sense of the human body!

Reviewed by on    Dance   ,

Siena, Photo: Jesus Robisco



European  performance is slipping through boundaries, transforming relationships between film, dance, painting, dramatic texts and the human body  and in all this apparent chaos which redefines   live performance,  the world of the “post-text”  and all forms of creation in space speak equally to each other in unexpected ways.    In Canada, Robert Lepage opened  the performance space many years go to this kind of visual/corporeal /technologically based work that one could no longer call simply “theatre” but that seemed to relegate the text to another conceptual dimension, thanks to his collaboration with European festivals and creative centres across the Western world.    Now, a lot of companies are moving in that direction, apparently  feeding off the imaginative style of  Italian performer Romeo Castellucci’s   work that unites the  troubled  subconscious  of  victims of  violence of our contemporary world.  His bits of spoken word and dialogue often based on the great founding narratives of the Western World,   take audiences far away into  visually disturbing places of  pre-civilization, where we can rediscover  the human body and rethink its role in the human uhrschleim of existence.  (Continue reading » )

Nijinsky at the NAC: a truly cathartic encounter between the dancer and his creations

Reviewed by on    Dance   ,

Guillaume Côté (Nijinsky) and Heather Ogden (Romola)
Photo:Chris Sonnemann


 The National Ballet of Canada’s staging of   John Neumeier’s Nijinsky, the artist who, by his personal and professional life, has certainly had the most influence on contemporary dance in the world, will go down in the annals of dance drama performance.  For the spectator, it does help if one is aware of the history of the Ballet Russe and the different individuals who worked with Nijinsky during his brief professional life because  Neumeier’s vision of the work does not try to reproduce autobiographical  accuracy or even imitate the many performances that attracted attention to Nijinsky’s dancing .  His emphasis is elsewhere. (Continue reading » )

Alice in Winterland : The Evil Red Queen of Tarts stole the show!!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

Sarah and Matt Cassidy are back at the Gladstone Theatre  producing a British panto style show for the holiday season, one that is particularly relevant this year with the deep frost  vortex from the north that has  turned us all into living icicles.  Written and directed by Ken MacDougall, the show has taken, as it did last year, a well-known  young people’s story, transformed it into a tale best suited to Ottawa in winter and located it in a section of the city that allows local merchants to show off their stores, take part in the shenanigans and become  a perfectly amusing background to this version of Alice  down the Rabbit hole,  where the  frigid wonderland is not the one we were expecting. (Continue reading » )

The Lorax: An exciting and transformative experience for the whole family.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Canada  

Photo Manuel Harlan

The story by Theodor Seuss Geisl (Dr. Seuss) that has made its way through various forms of animated cartoon films, is now playing at the Royal Alex in Toronto, after an opening performance in October 2017 in London.

Yes indeed!! We have all been watching the National Theatre Live bringing performances at the Old Vic and the New Vic, into Canada via satellite. This time, the David Mirvish production of The Lorax brings a whole British cast and creative team from the Old Vic into one of its own theatres in Toronto for a perfectly executed and utterly polished performance of the Lorax live without the camera! The experience is so completely exciting it had the little ones and the older ones glued to their seats for almost two hours and 15 minutes including the intermission. (Continue reading » )

Construire le mur (Building the Wall) de Robert Shenkkan

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

. Publié le 6 décembre sur   Paris

Brad Long, Building the Wall,

Cette pièce dont l’auteur américain, qui a obtenu de nombreux prix (Tony et Pulitzer), a aussi écrit des  scénarios pour le cinéma et la télévision   aux États-Unis. Construire le mur qui a tourné aux Etats-unis vient de terminer sa création canadienne à  Ottawa et le public s’y  est précipité;  les œuvres de ce genre sont en effet rares chez nous!  Depuis l’arrivée de Donald Trump  au pouvoir, l’image du mur est devenu  le symbole  de son projet politico-idéologique :  une construction  qui enferme, interdit, exclut, rejette, isole, sépare. La  pièce montre, avec une  simplicité  désarmante, notre glissement, presque imperceptible, vers une absence de conscience,  une indifférence qui  aboutit à la normalisation et la légitimité des gestes les plus horrifiants.
(Continue reading » )

Testament, d’après le roman de Vickie Gendreau, adaptation et mise en scène d’Anne-Marie Ouillet

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

En juin dernier, au  Centre des Arts d’Ottawa, Marie Brassard a monté un spectacle  à partir des textes de Nelly Arcan, une jeune écrivaine qui s’est suicidée à trente-six ans, à Montréal:  La Fureur de ce que je pense d’après son roman(voir l’article de Jane Baldwin,  premier jalon théâtral de la création auto-fictionnelle cette année, puisque l’école de théâtre de l’Université d’Ottawa  poursuit une expérience semblable. (Continue reading » )

OCD Love: L-E-V Dance company delves into a paradox, the strange psychic disruption of the troubled body!

Reviewed by on    Dance  

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 » )

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