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

Ghost of a Chance: Production offers some uneven pacing

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Photo courtesy of Rural Root Theatre Company

Ghost of a Chance
By Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus
Rural Root Theatre Company
Directed by Valerie Jorgensen

The three most annoying things about Ghost of a Chance are: its heavy borrowing from the Noel Coward classic Blithe Spirit early on; the unreasonable return of one thieving character, simply to engineer a happy ending; and the misdating of deer hunting season by a character who is supposed to be a hunting/shooting/fishing macho type.

There is also an issue with the 1996 comedy by husband-and-wife writing duo Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus being cluttered with too many complications and silliness. Even so, this ‘spirited’ sit-com includes a number of funny lines. But, unless a production of this type moves at a consistently fast pace, it stands more than a ghost of a chance of falling flat. (Continue reading » )

The drowsy chaperone: Enthusiastic production ultimately misses the mark

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Drowsy ChaperoneThe back-story has all the charm of a fairy tale. But, the Rural Root Theatre Company’s rendering of The Drowsy Chaperone gives no indication of awareness of its history. (A note in the program would be appreciated, as would a more coherent organization of the cast and crew bios.)

Almost 16 years ago, friends celebrated the engagement of Bob and Janet in Toronto by putting together a collection of songs, entitled The Wedding Gift.

The private event was such a success that, renamed The Drowsy Chaperone, it became a popular show at the Toronto Fringe, was then presented in a lengthened format with Bob Martin (the Bob of the engagement party) now involved, in larger houses in Toronto, courtesy of top Toronto producer David Mirvish. From here, the Canadian musical became a Tony-award winner on Broadway with numerous productions in London’s West End, Los Angeles, Australia and Japan, as well as touring across Canada. It became available for community theatre production only recently.

The names of the bride and groom in the show are constant reminders of its origins, while the intentionally slight plot combines a gentle spoof of the musicals of the 1920s with a celebration of the genre. (Continue reading » )