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

Mr. Shi and His Lover: a tautly executed superlative piece of musical theatre

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

Mr Shi and His Lover: Jordan Cheng and Derek Kwan, Photo Erik Kuong

A word of advice: If you’re going to see this superlative chamber musical, take the time to read the introductory notes from Macau Experimental Theatre that accompany the National Arts Centre’s program as well as the program itself.

That material will give you not just the show’s background – for instance, it’s based on a two-decades long, real-life love affair between two men: a French diplomat and a Peking opera singer who presented himself as a woman – but also provide invaluable explanatory musical and storyline anchors for a show that, like its concerns with love, deceit, identity and the nature of performance, eludes easy categorization and slyly resists our natural hunger for definitive answers in the face of ambiguity. (Continue reading » )