Confederation Part I: Confederation and Riel (part of The History of the Village of Small Huts) Live at Soulpepper Tuesday July 11, 2017

Categories: 2017 and Theatre.

This is the second staging of a 1988 set of two 1-act plays which are part of the 21 1-act play cycle, The History of the Village of Small Huts, performed by Video Cabaret, a troupe that uses tableau and total darkness to give essentially soundbite snippets of Canadian history. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it. Read More

Barrymore (2011, Erik Canuel)

Categories: 1996, 2011, Movies, and Theatre.

This is the film version of a 1996 one-man show of Christopher Plummer as John Barrymore rehearsing for a revival of Richard III. Unlike some play adaptations, this one makes little pretense of hiding that it was a one-man show. Though film tricks are used to add or slightly change things that must have been done differently on the stage, for the most part it is just a filmed play. And I must say I find that a little refreshing, given how so many adaptions of plays try to hide their staged nature. This kind of thing rests on the Read More

Julie by Philippe Boesmans and Luc Bondy, Live at the St. Lawrence Centre, November 19, 2015

Categories: 1888, 2005, 2015, and Theatre.

This is a 2005 chamber opera based on the 1888 play Miss Julie by August Strindberg. I have never read Strindberg, and I don’t know if I’ve read much naturalist literature or drama, so this was a new experience for me. The staging and direction are fantastic – they’ve decided to stage the pay in some weird alternate reality where the time isn’t entirely clear (are they in 1888 Sweden or are they somewhere else entirely?) and there are odd things in the kitchen, such as a tire and a giant pipe. The storm in the middle of the opera Read More

The Physicists (1961) by Friedrich Durrenmatt, adapted by Michael Healy, live at the Tom Patterson Theatre, Stratford, July 25, 2015

Categories: 1961, 2015, and Theatre.

This is a play about the social responsibility of scientists posing as a murder mystery-cum comedy, set in an insane asylum. The play uses comedy and the teensiest bit of mystery to dilute it’s overwise very heavy-handed message. The play itself is so prescient (and so relevant to our time) that I am shocked I had never heard of it or its author and I’ve had to add him to my list as I suspect that he’s written more interesting stuff, even if this is his most famous work. The cast was excellent and the staging was particularly clever, using Read More

The Kids in the Hall Live at Isabel Bader Theatre, Toronto, December 6, 2013

Categories: Theatre and TV.

I approached last night with a mixture of over-excitement and trepidation. The Kids in the Hall was the first thing I ever saw that said to me “it’s okay to be weird, in fact you can wear that as a badge.” I was a little young when I first caught glimpses of the show on CBC. I’m not sure whether I was 11 or 12 or even 13, but I do know that there name was innocuous enough that when I told my mom what I was watching, she wouldn’t think twice about it. So I stole the odd episode Read More

The Book of Mormon

Categories: 2013, Music, and Theatre.

Last night I saw the US National Tour version of The Book of Mormon, the musical by the creators of South Park and Avenue Q. I think there was enough going on it that to properly, fully assess it I should see it twice. I say this with good reason as, even though the show is full of stuff that people will dismiss as crude, there are numerous references to other musicals and also the chorus-singing was often so dense you couldn’t discern every part. The plot is pretty straightforward and is, in many ways, like an extended South Park Read More

Evil Dead: the Musical

Categories: 2007, Music, and Theatre.

It’s amazing. You should really see it if you live in TO. And you should sit in the splatter zone. And you should wear white (I didn’t…the blood looks purple on my blue shirt). I think I might have to buy the soundtrack. It is extremely cheesey, self-aware, satirical and all the finer things in life. Plus, there’s the whole blood thing. And, sitting in the front row, one of the actors took off my glasses and threatened to eat (?) me. My friends claimed it was a striptease… It was a lot of fun. Then we went out for Read More