Photo courtesy of Plosive Productions
Voices FromThe Front: The Radio Show
Conceived by John Cook and Teri Loretto-Valentik
A Plosive production at the Gladstone Theatre to Nov. 11
On one level, Voices From The Front — the latest entry in Ottawa theatre’s popular Radio Show series — may seem simplicity itself. Yet its impact can be powerful.
There’s a row of microphones along the front of the Gladstone Theatre’s playing area. Behind, there’s a row of chairs for the performers as they await those moments when they come forward to read. And in one corner, there’s a piano and the three singing Gladstone Sisters who will be making their own important contribution to the evening. (Continue reading » )
Photo: Plosive Productions
A pair of desks on opposite sides of the Gladstone Theatre stage. Behind each, a chair — one occupied by a woman named Melissa Gardner, the other by a man named Andrew Makepeace Ladd lll.
A.R. Gurney’s 1989 play, Love Letters, has a deceptively simple setting, but one rich with possibility. In an age of e-mail exchanges and text messaging, this Pulitzer Prize finalist evokes the past, conjuring up a whole emotional world by means of the written exchanges between these two people over the course of 50 years. Because those lifetimes also involve the choices they make within a wider social and political context, and because those choices are sometimes questionable, the play also assumes a rueful “what if” quality as it approaches its climax.
That quality keeps emerging in Teri Loretto-Valentik’s production at the Gladstone Theatre — although it seemed somewhat tentative on opening night. Pierre Brault and Lucy van Oldenbarneveld, both pleasing performers, are responsive to the material and also — one would assume — to the challenge of creating fully developed characters out of what is essentially a platform reading, but are they completely there yet? (Continue reading » )