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

Enchanted April lives up to its title in Linden House production

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Poster for Enchanted April

There are understandable reasons that Elizabeth von Arnim’s 1922 novel, Enchanted April, is enjoying a renewed lease on life.

Perhaps the most obvious in this day and age is the fact that one can detect early tinges of feminism in this story of four British women of various ages and backgrounds who boldly assert their independence and team up for an idyllic holiday in an old castle in sunbaked Italy.

But other durable factors are also at play here. It is an engaging tale. It is peopled by four interesting and believable female characters. Finally, in its successful transfers to film and stage: the material has offered a bouquet of splendid acting opportunities. (Continue reading » )

Kanata Theatre’s Last Romance: Good actors coping with an inadequate script

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

The best reason for seeing Kanata Theatre’s production of the 201l play, Last Romance, is the performance of Brooke Keneford as a  lonely widower who strikes up a friendship with a stranger in a dog park.

Keneford communicates a rough-hewn charm as Ralph Bellini, an opera-loving Italian American who’s desperate for companionship — and maybe, just maybe, a late-flowering romance. He’s gregarious yet vulnerable. His social skills are rusty — and, in an era obsessed with  political correctness, his initial overtures to the aloof dog-walking Carol could be seen as sexual harassment. (Continue reading » )

Be a Friend: A Charming Family Musical

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

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Photo. Andrew Simon . Squirrel with Thompson.

Be A Friend, the delightful children’s mini-musical that is Orpheus Theatre’s Yuletide gift to the community, knows how to communicate with its young audiences. It doesn’t talk down to them as it tells the story of a lonely skunk named Sammy and his search for a friend. Without being the least bit preachy, it delivers an effective message against prejudice and for accepting people who are “different.” The opportunity for audience participation is built into Iris Winston’s lively and imaginative book, which is based on her award-winning play, Let’s Be Friends. And a further trump card comes from the songs with their nifty lyrics by Gord Carruth and engaging melodies from Carruth and Bart Nameth.

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Same little fellow discovers the set..Photo: Andrew Simon

(Continue reading » )

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Will Have You Bouncing in Your Seat..

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

It may not be the best musical you will ever see, but Orpheus Theatre’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, directed by Shaun Toohey and adapted from the Jeffrey Lane book and Frank Oz movie by the same title, will leave you with a skip in your walk and a hum to your talk by the end.

The musical comedy has much going for it. After all, it is set in the ever-glamourous French Riviera and  offers a story rife with drama, comedy and romance centered around the adventures of two mismatched con-men. Add to this an ensemble  of fun-filled, if slightly forgettable songs, and you’ll be bouncing in your seat.

(Continue reading » )