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

Alice In Winterland Family Friendly? I Think Not!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

Jessica Vandenberg as Alice in Winterland!
Photo Dominique Gibbons

Written and Directed by Ken MacDougall
Musical Direction by Wendy Berkelaar
Choreographed by Jessica Vandenberg
Produced by Matt Cassidy and Sarah Cassidy

On a night when Ottawa was the coldest capital city on the planet, I appropriately ventured out to see a local production called Alice in Winterland. It seemed a proper choice of entertainment to bridge the Christmas and New Year festive season. It is a pantomime show which incorporates broad actions combined with music and intended primarily for children in what is described as family friendly theatre.
There are a number of adult jokes sprinkled throughout that were not particularly funny which makes their inappropriateness more offensive. I was left wondering whether writer director Ken MacDougall thought the insertion of campy, raunchy vaudeville was the only way that adults could be inspired to bring their children to the theatre. I again wondered if he figured that it would be okay because the phallic references would be lost on the children. In any event, the crass gratuitous dick humour was anything but family friendly. (Continue reading » )

The Blizzard of Oz: British Panto geared for winter in Ottawa, is back!!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

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Photo, Tomson Simon. After the show with the audience!

This time the choreography is slicker (with such numbers as Gotta Get Home, Steppin’ Time and Popular) the singers feel more confident, the acting is top notch, the writing takes the young and less young into account and the audience is perfectly integrated to the point where it knows its lines ahead of the performers!!  Oh yes, Panto  has come of age at the Gladstone and it was the greatest of pleasures to see this vibrant and bouncy cast, under the direction of Ken MacDougall,  hit the spot, with the small tots, the parents and  the grannies alike. (Continue reading » )