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

Café Variations. The World on Stage at the Cutler Majestic in Boston

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage   ,

CafeVariations6927982800_4e692c2312_b CafeVariations6927982800_4e692c2312_bCafé Variations. Photo. Paul Marotta

Café Variations arrived in town with lots of promise – a book by experimental playwright Charles Mee, directed by his frequent collaborator Anne Bogart, and music and lyrics by the Gershwin brothers. But despite this seemingly winning combination, the show never quite coalesced.

Rather than an exploration of plot and/or character, the play is an investigation of and disquisition on the problems, joys, and fears of romantic entanglements – with song and dance thrown in. The cast of thirty, composed almost equally of Bogart’s SITI Company actors andEmersonCollegemusical theatre students, varies in musical and dance ability with several students outshining the professionals.

(Continue reading » )

Sugar:Author Robbie McCalauley Traces her Own Life

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage   , , ,

For a number of years, actress, director, performance artist, teacher, and writer Robbie McCauley has been creating socio-political works, which draw on her family history, as in Indian Blood and the OBIE winner Sally’s Rape.  In Sugar McCauley traces her own life, beginning in childhood in a still segregated Georgia.  Life revolved around family, community, cooking, eating, and the garden which supplied the family with healthful food.  A happy and seemingly fit child, her cuts and bruises healed slowly. She was told that she must “have a little sugar,” code for diabetes.

McCauley tells us: “Sugar is complicated” – and it is in this play.  It connects to love, pleasure, illness, pain, suffering, overcoming, and slavery.  She wrote Sugar to rid herself of the shame she felt about the stigma of diabetes and to bring attention to the growing problem of the disease in the African American community.

(Continue reading » )