Onegin’s portrayal of young love conquers despite some missteps

Reviewed by Patrick Langston

 
Article first published in  Artsfile.ca

Pity the rich boy with too much time on his hands. His heart entombed as though by a Russian winter, he drifts through life bored, disconnected, emotionally somnolent. And if his name is Evgeni Onegin, he manages, through indifference to all but his own wants, to hurt deeply those who reach out to him and, in the end, to become the victim of his own glacial persona.

Onegin, in other words, isn’t the kind of guy you’d choose to hang with. But, as the titular character in the new, spirited musical by west coasters Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille — who based their show on the early 19th century poem by Alexander Pushkin and the subsequent Tchaikovsky opera — he is someone to whom you pay attention. (more…)

Onegin : This tribute to 21st century sensibility moves musical theatre far beyond the box!

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

Onegin
Photo Rachael McQuaig

First of all do not read Pushkin’s work before seeing this.  Although the show is apparently set in Russia, it includes the main characters in the novel, it moves from Saint Petersburg to Moscow and back and there are references to Byron which one  finds in Pushkin’s text.  However,  a knowledge of this  early 19th century romantic novel which has become one of the great works of Russian literature will only confuse you. Just arrive at the NAC with no great expectations, think of what we are told that this is not an opera, relax, forget the ballet,  and you will probably enjoy this very much because it is clearly geared for a 21st century sensibility where existing operatic, theatrical , pop music and musical theatre conventions  have all been thrown to the wind. (more…)

Zones théâtrales: Les beignes, une comédie grotesque, pétillante et captivante!

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

Les Beignes: toute la compagnie
Théâtre populaire d’Acadie

Le festival Zones théâtrales, évènement biennal qui met en vedette les spectacles issus des communautés francophones des régions, est de nouveau parmi nous.  Désormais sous la direction artistique de Gilles Poulin-Denis, le festival comporte sept spectacles, six  lectures publiques ainsi que des Zones « chantiers » soit des laboratoires de recherche où le public est invité à assister aux répétitions et à découvrir les technologies les plus récentes intégrées à la création scénique. (more…)

Awoken: excellent performance but the material faulters…

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

Awoken
Dave Amott

Awoken created and performed by Nicholas Dave Amott

A monologue  which becomes a sleepless delirium , bringing  together  sounds of familiar voices , a nightmarish confusion between illusion and  reality, and a clear sense of a character  performing himself in front of an audience , opened last night at the Gladstone Theatre for a  5 day run.

This very talented young man with a beautiful voice, enormous stage presence and an excellent sense of theatre,  plays out his delusional world of the insomniac as it shifts back and forth from his contacts with the doctor, his conversations with his mother, his need to express himself through music, and his flights of confused fantasy into the world of popular culture where batman, ironman and many more appear and disappear. He is suffering from an incurable form of sleeplessness and there is nothing anyone can do for him.  He uses points of light created by lamps not only to transform his face into multiple theatrical masks but also to bring the audience into his semi-hypnotical state of dizziness and exhaustion as he winds down to the inevitable ending. (more…)

Le Théâtre des Quartiers d’Ivry annonce la mort d’Adel Hakim

News from Capital Critics Circle

Adel Hakim

 29 AOÛT 2017 /

Nous avons la tristesse de vous annoncer le décès d’Adel Hakim, survenu le mardi 29 août 2017 à Ivry.

Adel est décédé chez lui, entouré de ses proches. Il n’a pas pu, comme il le souhaitait, mourir à Zurich , auprès de l’association Dignitas.

Il a souhaité expliquer son choix et son engagement de mourir dans la dignité dans une lettre que nous nous vous communiquons. Nous vous remercions de prêter attention à cet adieu.

Elisabeth Chailloux
et le Théâtre des Quartiers d’Ivry – Centre Dramatique National du Val-de-Marne

_________ (more…)

Gypsy: A Wonderful Revival

Reviewed by Jane Baldwin

Photo Mark Howard.
Gypsy

For its first show of the season Boston’s Lyric Stage, which often produces musical theatre pieces, chose Arthur Laurents’, Jule Styne’s, and Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy. Gypsy is considered by many critics, scholars, and theatre artists as one of the greatest musicals of the mid-20th century when American musical comedy turned into musical theatre, a more well-rounded genre in which the narrative and characterization were on par with the songs, where comedy could remain an integral part of the show or be dropped.

In 1959, Ethel Merman created the leading role of Mama Rose, a woman dedicated to fulfilling her dream of seeing her two daughters become show business stars, who in Merman’s version was funny, cruel, selfish, powerful, and at times loving. Her loud (and for some abrasive) mezzo-soprano voice and her belting style were inimical.

Since the original closed in 1961, Gypsy has been revived four times on Broadway with Tyne Daly, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, and Patti Lupone as the lead. Tyne Daly, Angela Lansbury, and Patti Lupone won a Tony award, while Bernadette Peters was nominated. What their performances have in common is that their interpretations are less vulgar, tough, lower class, and over the top than Merman’s.
(more…)

Christina Watt is performing a Cross-Canada concert.

News from Capital Critics Circle

Hello Friends,
This Sunday, Sept 10, World Suicide Awareness Day, I am honored to be invited to perform in a cross-Canada concert in recognition of this day and its significance worldwide. Twenty-one hours of continuous concerts. Other Ottawa performers include Christiane Riel (Soprano), John Avey (bass-baritone); Yvonne Cox (harp); Leopoldo Erice (piano); Isabelle Gagnon (harp); Michelle Gott (harp) Sandra Graham (mezzo-soprano) David Jalbert (piano) Renée Lapointe (mezzo-soprano) Christiane Riel (soprano) Claire Stevens (piano) Louis Trépanier (guitar).
The event, from morn to night, NFLD to BC, will be live-streamed. Below is the link and also an article.

Sudbury’s Miriam Cusson receives 2017 John Hirsch Director’s Award

News from Capital Critics Circle

Toronto, September 6, 2017 – Sudbury theatre director Miriam Cusson will receive this year’s John Hirsch Director’s Award on Tuesday, September 12 during the Zones Théâtrales festival at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre. The same evening, the festival will feature a workshop presentation of Miriam’s newest work, Parmi les éclats, which will premiere in 2018 at the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario.

Miriam Cusson. winner of the John Hirsch Award for directing.

(more…)

Évènement au Quat’Sous: À te regarder, ils s’habitueront.

News from Capital Critics Circle

Un évènement inédit

Fébriles, la vingtaine d’artistes et d’artisans d’À te regarder, ils s’habitueront se préparent à prendre d’assaut la petite scène du Quat’Sous! Du 5 au 30 septembre, ils vous convient à un grand happening théâtral aux horizons multiples.

Quelle parole nous distingue, nous rassemble? Qui sommes-nous, qui sont les autres? Face à ces interrogations, les instiguateurs du projet Olivier Kemeid et Mani Soleymanlou ont ressenti un sentiment d’urgence, une envie de bousculer les idées reçues et d’interroger notre histoire. Ils vous partagent leur questionnement dans cet article de La Presse.

Pour ce vaste projet inclusif et rassembleur, ils ont donc convié six metteurs en scène à explorer, avec leurs acteurs, la question dite «de la diversité». Ces six inspirants créateurs vous parlent plus de leur inspiration et leur démarche dans cet article du Devoir.

Vous pouvez voir toute la troupe en plein travail dans de magnifiques photos signées Jérémie Battaglia, juste ici.

→ Plusieurs soirs affichent déjà complet, il reste de bons billets pour les représentations du 5 et 6 septembre, au tarif prévente de 26$.

 

Tartuffe is not the star in this Stratford revival

Reviewed by Jamie Portman

Tartuffe :Tom Rooney, Orgon: Graham Abbey
Photo: Lynda Churilla

STRATFORD, Ont. —   Let’s get down to the basics. The Stratford Festival’s new production of Moliere’s Tartuffe has company mainstay Graham Abbey delivering one of the best comic performances in  this  venerable theatre’s history. And no, he’s not playing the title character — he’s not the oily religious hypocrite and con-artist who ingratiates himself into a wealthy Parisian household and causes mayhem.

On the contrary, Abbey has the role of Orgon, the gullible head of the household and a man bewitched by Tartuffe’s bogus odour of sanctity. (more…)

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