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

The Sound of Music: Maria Connects but tempered voices are tedious

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If you’re a nun suffering from insomnia, just book a berth in the cavernous abbey depicted in this production of The Sound of Music. The place is so immensely boring, so circumscribed by tempered voices and looming, dark spaces, that you’ll be snoozing in seconds.

In fact, one suspects that the real reason Maria abandons a career in a wimple for life with the von Trapps is to avoid death by tedium.

You already know the storyline of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s famous musical — Maria Rainer, a postulant at an Austrian abbey in the dark days of the advancing Third Reich, takes a temporary job as a governess with the von Trapp family, falls in love with the adorable but emotionally undernourished children and their rule-loving widower father Captain Georg von Trapp, teaches them all to sing again, marries the captain, and flees the Nazis with her new family.

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Underpants Droop At The Gladstone

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

If you can believe the people at Ottawa’s fledgling Theatre Kraken, people actually had working radios back in the days when Germany possessed an emperor and housewives still wore below-the-knee bloomers as underwear.

In truth, however, such discrepancies merely define this company’s production of The Underpants as a historical mish-mash.

It’s also a mish-mash when it comes to style, performance and the accents of the characters. All of which helps to make the evening a glum and pointless theatrical experience.

Promotion for this appallingly misconceived theatrical event has emphasized the name of comedian Steve Martin who is responsible for this adaptation of German playwright Carl Sternheim’s 1911 expressionist satire of bourgeois values. The piece will never rank as one of Martin’s shining creative moments, lacking the wit and verbal agility of his earlier play, Picasso At The Lapine Agile — but Don Fex’s production at the Gladstone Theatre makes it seem even worse, giving more heed to the text’s sophomoric sexual double entendres than its more cutting elements of social and political satire. The latter are largely trampled under.

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