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

Vigilante cast keeps powerful Donnellys saga all in the familly

Reviewed by on    Opera   ,

Photo David Cooper Vigilante

They may sing tunefully and love their ma like crazy, but you wouldn’t want to mess with the Donnelly boys. They’re a potentially dangerous crew with a vigorous sense of survival, and in southern Ontario’s Biddulph Township circa the mid-19th century, that means one for all and all for one.

That spirit of family – especially a family under siege through no real fault of its own – is one of many themes raging like a river of blood through Vigilante, the extraordinarily powerful rock-opera by Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre now playing the NAC. Catalyst Theatre’s Jonathan Christenson wrote, composed and directed Vigilante, a dark, swaggering and occasionally vulnerable show that spirits the Black Donnellys and their fight for survival to the level of the epic without once losing sight of the fact that these are real people in a real world.

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