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

Motown, the Musical allows these hits to shine once more!

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

Motown, the Musical. Performing the Jackson 5. Photo: Joan Marcus

Motown, the Musical. Book by Berry Gordy; music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalog . Broadway Across Canada in association with Work Light Productions. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright/ Plays Southam Hall, National Arts Centre

The musical legacy of the remarkable growth of Motown speaks for itself through this jukebox musical — which is just as well because the book by Motown founder Berry Gordy is nothing to write home about. (Continue reading » )

Newsies: A Visual Powerhouse.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

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Photo: Deen Van Meer

The hottest news about Newsies is the excellent choreography and terrific dancing, closely followed by the striking high-tech design enabling fluid set changes that become part of the action.

The 2011 musical, based on a 1992 Disney movie — and, according to the program, inspired by the book Children of the City by David Nasaw — is a romanticized version of the 1899 newsboys’ strike against the papers owned by Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. The poverty-stricken boys were forced to buy the newspapers they then hawked around the streets of New York City. When Pulitzer and Hearst hiked the price to the newsies, they could not make anything approaching a living wage. Their strike, which included forming a human barrier across Brooklyn Bridge, eventually forced the newspaper tycoons to back down and is credited with laying some of the groundwork for future unionization of labour.

(Continue reading » )