Mothers & Daughters
Photo Maria Vartanova
We are full throttle into the Ottawa Theatre season with Performances at Ottawa Little Theatre, Kanata Theatre, Central Square and of course the N.A.C. with the GCTC season just around the corner. I chose to attend Mothers & Daughters Friday evening. It is the world premiere of a new musical penned by S. Oscar Martin with music and lyrics by Jeff Rogers, Rich Rankin, Eric MacIntyre, Andy Ladouceur, Zach Martin and S. Oscar Martin. (Continue reading » )
Maestro par Claude Montminy
En français, adapté pour l’Outaouais par Claude Montminy.
Mise en scène : Gilles Provost,
Scénographie et éclairages : David Magladry
Géré par Gilles Provost, bien connu dans la région en tant que comédien, professeur et ancien directeur du Théâtre de l’ile, ce spectacle semble cacher une parodie féroce de la classe moyenne québécoise/outaouaise , transformée en frénésie comique par la mécanique héritée de la farce française. En fait, dès le début, on se pose des questions sur la logique dramaturgique de cette œuvre qui mélange les styles de jeu, les thématiques et les stéréotypes de toutes sortes au point où on finit par se laisser bercer par la folle confusion de ce microcosme peuplé d’ambitieux, de misogynes, de mal élevés, de manipulateurs . L’auteur se moque de tout le monde, même du public qui ose rigoler devant cette parade de bouffonneries inouïes. (Continue reading » )
Photo: Maria Vartanova
Little Shop of Horrors
Book and lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Directed by Don Fex
Frequently referred to as a cult musical, Little Shop of Horrors delivers as much blood and gore and almost as many bodies as Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Funny but too frightening for the younger set to be called family entertainment, the book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, with music by Alan Menken (the team responsible for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin) combines a tentative romance, an abusive relationship and a dictatorial blood-sucking plant in a somewhat unpleasant morality tale. (Be careful what you wish for. The end does not justify the means. Even bad guys deserve fair treatment. Take your pick.) (Continue reading » )
photo: Maria Vartanova
Theatre Kraken has never been my favourite Community Theatre but this new production of Little Shop of Horrors just changed all that. The show began with a surge of vocal and musical energy blasting from the five piece stage band under the direction of Chris Lucas. There was also the impeccable precision of director Don Fex and choreographer Brenda Solman whose efforts were right on the mark.
This story of Mr. Mushnik,(with the ever powerful and oh so versatile Lawrence Evenchick ) owner of a flower shop in the skid row district of New York, becomes the site of a strange event that suggests the War of the Worlds except that it is a hillarious drama and love story, peppered with Jewish jokes and Yiddish expressions and an underlying tragic history of the second world war. Something that Mel Brooks himself could have created but this musical was adapted from the film by Alan Menken- music, and Howard Ashman-, book and lyrics. With strong musicians (the keybords were particularly noteworthy), director Don Fex’s captured the underlying seriousness of these campy characters with great style to produce a very strong show.
(Continue reading » )
Plan B by Michael Healey, Director and set: André Dimitrijevic
Quebec separatism was still a burning issue when Canadian playwright Michael Healey wrote Plan B some 15 years ago. So the revival on view at the Gladstone does seem something of an irrelevant period piece — with its lack of topicality now making the script’s deficiencies seem more pronounced.
On the positive side, there is the solid quality of Andre Dimitrijavic’s Phoenix Players production — one in which the satirical barbs can still deliver and the great divide that continues to exist between two cultures can still be examined. (Continue reading » )
Plan B By Michael Healey, directed by André Dimitrijevic, a Phoenix Players production.
Crying wolf too often may create indifference to a real threat. In Plan B, playwright Michael Healey presents a satirical and cynical look at Quebec’s regular return to the possibility of separation/sovereignty.
In the real world of the Quebec referendum of 1995, the threat almost became reality with less than one percentage point separating the go/stay votes. In Healey’s 2002 play, the separatists succeeded in a close vote (53%/47%).
In Plan B, set in a hotel room across the river from the nation’s capital, negotiations to arrange Quebec’s exit from Canada are underway. The catch, quickly revealed, is that these talks are merely a cover — complete with purposeful leaks to the media —while genuine negotiations take place elsewhere (Continue reading » )
Photo: Andrew Alexander
This is a true heartbreaker. In Bear and Co’s latest offering at the Gladstone Theatre, Ottawa-based playwright Lawrence Aronovitch pens a script that delves into the grief of lost love. This world premiere is largely set in a tailor’s shop in 1070s New York, where being a publicly gay man is criminal. A young, nameless tailor works on a bespoke suit for a funeral. In the midst of his work, his mind wanders to his life’s greatest loves – the Duke of Windsor and a fiery Irish actor – who are now both dead, and suddenly conjures their ghosts onto the stage. (Continue reading » )
Photo: Andrew Alexander
Lawrence Aronovitch’s new play, Finishing The Suit, comes to us simply, without pretension. But this tender drama about a lonely gay tailor coming to terms with a crushing personal loss deserves attention from anyone who cares about good theatre.
This Bear @ Co. Production is at the Gladstone until March 11, and it may be recommended not only for a beautifully written 70-minute script, a piece both psychologically and culturally observant, but also for a trio of strong performances from Matt Pilipiak, Isaac Giles and David Whiteley. (Continue reading » )
Photo: Andrew Alexander
Finishing the Suit
By Lawrence Aronovitch
Bear & Co.
Directed by Joël Beddows
Coming to terms with the past is the only way to prepare for the future. Even then, putting grief to rest is incredibly difficult.
This is the theme of Lawrence Aronovitch’s fine play, Finishing the Suit, currently having its premiere production from Bear & Co. at the Gladstone.
The title is partly drawn from the reality of completing a morning coat (also referred to as a mourning coat in the context of the script). It is also a metaphor for sewing up the past through memory and conversation.
Directed with sensitivity and clarity by Joël Beddows, the three-person cast tells of the two people that have had the greatest impact on the tailor (Matt Pilipiak), The two, David (David Whiteley) —who is to wear the morning coat in death—and Jimmy (Isaac Giles) are both dead, but remain alive in the tailor’s heart and remembrance, almost to the exclusion of his daily existence. (Continue reading » )
Photo: Andrew Alexander . from left to right: Marc-André Charette, Emmanuel Simon, Gabriel Lalonde, Front: Annie Lefebvre, Leah Archambault, Mekdes Teshome.
How could one name this performance that is now running at the Gladstone?? It could be docudrama; it could be multi-disciplinary theatre; it could be corporeal theatre although the text is central to the event; it could be verbatim theatre, or even socially engaged theatre that goes for the jugular as it tries to transform our culture in the same way R. Schechner and J. Beck in the 1970’s hoped to do with their political and ritual performances. Perhaps, it also wants to make people aware that many individuals are living in a “war zone” when it comes to sexual violence in our society. In fact it’s a bit of all that. A huge agenda that might seem almost overwhelming for director Jessica Ruano who also wrote the script, for the choreographer who conceived the movement portions, and for the actors who had to shift moods, narratives and characters nonstop during 75 minutes!
(Continue reading » )