Reviewer: Capital Critics Circle

Capital Critics Circle
This section is reserved for Arts News that comes our way via press releases from theatres in the area, or newspaper articles about arts events that are not theatre reviews.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead : the National Theatre Live at the Old Vic

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ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD – National Theatre Live from The Old Vic
April 20, 2017 (Live), and May 27, 2017, Coming to Cineplex theatres in Ottawa!
Directed by David Leveaux; Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Joshua McGuire, David Haig

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, Equus), Joshua McGuire (The Hour) and David Haig (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Witness for the Prosecution) star in Tom Stoppard’s brilliantly funny situation comedy, broadcast live from The Old Vic theatre in London. David Leveaux’s new production marks the 50th anniversary of the play that made a young Tom Stoppard famous overnight.

Set against the backdrop of Hamlet, two hapless minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, take centre stage. As the young double act stumble their way in and out of the action of Shakespeare’s iconic drama, they become increasingly out of their depth as their version of the story unfolds.

Derek Walcott, a Mighty Poet, Has Died- by Hilton Als (The New Yorker)

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Derek Walcott, a Mighty Poet, Has Died
By Hilton Als March 17, 2017

Walcott’s poems explored, among other themes, the sea, memory, and the joys and terrors of physical love.
Derek Walcott was a complicated person and a great poet, and often those things are not divisible. The time I spent with him and his beautiful German-born partner, Sigrid Nama, in Derek’s native St. Lucia changed my life in ways that extended past the New Yorker Profile I wrote in 2004. I felt as though I had always known him—not known him, exactly, but seen him, been in his aura, his history, because, like my father, Derek was the product of a profound world, a distinctly Caribbean world with its history of colonialism and its imperceptible change, and home to so much more, including mothers who spared no amount of love to make you understand that you were their bright boy. Derek’s mother, Alix Maarlin, a schoolteacher, helped him publish his first poems, and it was the light of that first love that Derek always stood under; it made him shy about intimacy, while closeness was something he always sought. The first Mrs. Walcott believed in him with a pride that eclipsed the great honor of his 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature because she was the first to say, if only in her mind: “Why not be Shakespeare?” Anything was possible, and where you were from was just part of the story. (more…)

The Marriage – An Impossible Event by N. Gogol

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The public is encouraged to see this play by Nikolaï Gogol at the University of Ottawa.
directed by Nicholas Leno (MFA Candidate)
A production of the Unicorn Theatre
Tuesday, March 28th to Saturday March 25, 2017 at 8 p.m. ithe Academic Hall, 133 Séraphin-Marion

Please reserve: by email at:
or by phone at: 613 562-5761 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Catch Me If You Can: Well Worth Catching

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Photo: Orpheus Musical Society

Guest Critic: Jim Murchison
Frank Abagnale Jr is a famous con man who eluded police authorities for years. He is well known because of the film version of Catch Me If You Can  and for his books including one appropriately titled The Art of The Steal. This  play with book by Terrence McNally, music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman is largely true. It is at times a game show,  Film Noir,  and a night club act, with a hint of Dragnet thrown in. It is necessary to be as chameleonic as it’s antihero. While the tale doesn’t have the depth or social impact of some tales it is an entertaining story of a fascinating con man who evolved into someone better and used his talent for artifice for a better purpose.


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Le 15 mars 2017 – OTTAWA    Brigitte Haentjens est lauréate du Prix du Gouverneur Général pour les arts du spectacle 2017. Elle a décidé de remettre son prix d’une valeur de 25 000 $ à cinq jeunes créateurs. (more…)

Now We’re Talking! NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley Opens the Conversation on the 2017/18 Season

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Now We’re Talking! NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley Opens the Conversation on the 2017/18 Season.

March 6, 2017 – OTTAWA (Canada) – From adaptations of classic novels, to powerful stories told in various musical styles, to real-life events brought to the national stage with stunning visuals, the 2017/18 NAC English Theatre season offers a wide array of experiences fostering meaningful exchange between audiences and artists. (more…)


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March 6, 2017 – OTTAWA (Canada) – NAC Dance is proud to unveil one of its most spectacular and expansive seasons to date. Featuring 48 performances by 20 companies, it includes 3 Canadian exclusives, 2 co-productions, 11 artists and companies making their NAC debuts, and many great Canadian artists from home and abroad.   (more…)

To Kill a Mockingbird: OLT does credible job bringing beloved story to life

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Guest Critic: Jim Murchison

Photo: Maria Vartanova

To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic novel and known by many for the nearly flawless film version of 1962. The stage adaptation by Christopher Sergel is not in the same league, but the story is worth telling and OLT does a credible job of bringing it to life.

Many of us may have come to believe that we have evolved from the ugly racist world that was prevalent prior to the social upheaval of the 60’s and the election of the United States first black President. We now know after Brexit, the election of the 45th U.S. President and the horrifying shootings in a Quebec Mosque that we still have a long way to travel before we get to the point where we have attained equality.  It is this simple. We need  eternal vigilance to protect us from our prejudices and xenophobia.

It is what To Kill A Mockingbird is about and unfortunately it is as relevant as it has ever been. Klaas Van Weringh’s set design is equally effective as an Alabama neighbourhood and as a courthouse. The set  worked most effectively when combined with Brian Cano’s lighting design in the scene at the jailhouse where we see a solitary bare light bulb revealing  Atticus Finch (David Holton) sitting outside reading his paper. He steadfastly waits for the angry white mob that is inevitably coming from the shadowy streets. This scene captured the essence of  the piece perfectly. (more…)

Avec « ERZULI DAHOMEY, déesse de l’amour » et après « Médée-Kali », le M’Acte démontre sa volonté de rapprocher les différentes cultures

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Guest Critic: Scarlet Jesus

Avant la Martinique -où la pièce sera jouée au Théâtre Aimé Césaire du 16 au 18 février prochain-, dans le cadre d’une programmation mettant à l’honneur Karine Pedurand, le  Mémorial Acte a donné une unique représentation d’« Erzuli Dahomey, déesse de l’amour ». Le texte de cette pièce, écrite par Jean-René il y a une dizaine d’années dans le cadre d’une résidence d’auteur à La Chartreuse d’Avignon et publié aux éditions des Solitaires intempestifs, a reçu plusieurs récompenses : le Prix SACD de la dramaturgie française en 2009, suivi en 2013 du Prix « Théâtre 13 Jeunes metteurs en scène ».

La pièce avait fait l’objet d’une programmation à la Comédie Française (salle du Vieux Colombier) du 12 mars au 15 avril 2012, avec une mise en scène d’Eric Génovèse. La mise en scène, pour la Guadeloupe et comme pour la Martinique, a été réalisée à l’initiative de la Compagnie Théâtre des Deux Saisons. Elle a pu être vue en Île de France, les 17 et 18 juin derniers, dans le cadre de la structure Arcadi (Plateaux Solidaires).

Erzuli ? Voici une pièce qui va évoquer le vaudou, pensez-vous!  D’autant que vous connaissez l’origine haïtienne de Jean-René Lemoine.

Il vous faut d’emblée éliminer cette fausse piste et noter que le titre ne fait pas référence à « Erzuli Dantor », mais à « Erzuli Dahomey ». A l’Afrique donc plus qu’à Haïti.A travers la référence à un royaume , le Dahomey, qui fut autrefois, avec Ouidah, un lieu majeur de la traite des esclaves atlantiques. Et d’où le vaudou, certes, tire son origine… La pièce semble faire le lien entre une réalité historique et la présence d’un imaginaire collectif dans lequel le merveilleux trouve place.  (more…)

The Gladstone Theater Under New Management

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The Board of Directors of The Gladstone Theatre is delighted to announce Ottawa’s own AL Connors will take the helm of the historic venue at 910 Gladstone Avenue.

The 235-seat theatre at 910 Gladstone was home to the Great Canadian Theatre Company from 1982 to 2007. Since then, it’s been operated as The Gladstone, managed by Plosive Productions from 2011 till this past Fall. In 2016, a steering committee made up of members of the Ottawa theatre community, led by Plosive’s David Whiteley, the theatre’s volunteer manager, worked to create a new organization to run the theatre. On November 8, 2016 The Gladstone Theatre Inc. was founded as the new caretaker of 910 Gladstone avenue, a venue which has become a bustling hub for Ottawa’s independent theatre community. So far this season, over 10,000 theatre goers have attended shows at The Gladstone! AL Connors becomes the new corporation’s first Theatre Manager.

“Maybe the best thing about this job is that I’m going to get to meet everyone!” says Connors referring to the long list of artists and producers who regularly present shows at the venue. “These fantastic artists will all come to me. It’s going to make me a lazy theatre patron, having shows down the hall from my desk. I’m pretty excited.”

Theatre patrons may recognize Connors from his on-stage roles in Gladstone hits Noises Off, The 39 Steps, and as Norman in last season’s The Norman Conquests Trilogy. Other Gladstone credits include directing Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates, a Company of Fools’ A Midwinter’s Dream Tale, and most recently Pierre Brault in Will Somers. (more…)

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