Stratford Festival

This uncanny one-man show is as strikingly insightful production of Hirsch

Reviewed by Jamie Portman

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STRATFORD, Ont. – The Stratford Festival has boldly premiered three new works for its July round of openings _ but with mixed results.One, a potentially exciting musical about Klondike poet Robert W. Service, is a damp disappointment. Another reveals a fine Canadian playwright merely marking time.  The third offering, a one-man show called Hirsch, is a triumph.

Yet, how many theatergoers will even recognize the name of Canadian theatre icon John Hirsch? Well, even if they don`t they`ll quickly realize they`re in the presence of an arresting personality _ the sort of man who will demolish an enemy with the lofty declaration that “your intellect is nothing compared to my intellect .

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Stratford Festival : You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

Reviewed by Herbert Simpson

Archness Alert: If you love the comic strip Peanuts and agree with this show’s program-book writers that it is art to be likened to Dickens, Balzac and Chaplin, this is the musical show for you.  If, however, you’re not a fan of cutesy, repetitive comic-pages cartoon stories – like Cathy, Beetle Bailey, or in this case, Peanuts, you may find this simple re-enactment of the strip the equivalent of a a ride on a small tricycle when you’ve paid for a limousine.  Stratford’s staging is impeccable and splendidly cast.  Director/choreographer Donna Feore makes it play like a dream-party with masterful entertainment. But I guess I’m too old and diabetic to be fed cotton candy.  Pogo, Doonesbury, si; but this is just the cartoon’s same old bland routines played out.

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Past Reviews