All posts by Alex Rayment

Matchmaker, Matchmaker (Listing for Blind Date at Harbourfront)

from the keyboard of: Alex Rayment

So in case you don’t know, I loves the improvs. When I heard that Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage was putting on an improv show, I had to check it out…but unfourtunately it hasn’t happened yet which is why I’m writing this preview.

You, oh readers of the interwebs, have won the glorious chance to be my date(s) to an improv show about someone else’s date and it will only cost you $25. Blind Date is about a woman, played by the brilliant Rebecca Northan, who gets stood up and is forced to turn to the audience to find someone brave and willing to fill the empty void at the table and in her heart.

In case I haven’t mentioned this, she and her randomly chosen audience member (maybe you) are making this up as they go along. I think it sounds like a blast and wouldn’t miss it for the world. The show has a limited run of five nights and opens Tuesday March 3rd, so if you’re as interested as I am – get on your horse and book some tickets.

– Show runs March 3-7 at the Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West)
– Doors are at 7pm, show at 8 pm.
– Tickets are $25 and can be bought online (www.harbourfrontcentre.com) or via phone -416 973 4000

Stranger – Praxis Theatre

James Murray as Meursault

by Alex Rayment

It’s cold, slushy, bleak and the credit card bills from the holiday season have arrived. Happy National Depression Week everyone. It’s the perfect time for me to huddle indoors and dust off my keyboard for some good old theatre bloggin’. It also happens to be perfect setting in which to present the famous, anti-nihilistic French classic L’√Čtranger – the book on which Stranger by Praxis Theatre is based.

So for starters, go read the book.

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It's a Wonderful Life – Canstage

by Alex Rayment

Being of the cynical and artistic variety, I was expecting It’s a Wonderful Life by Canstage to be essentially a live action version of a classic film – boring, bland and pointless. I was predicting a night of sitting in a theatre surrounded by retirees and grandparents wondering why I hadn’t just stayed home and watched the movie. What I was not expecting was the sarcastic voice in the back of my head to be told (quite promptly) to “sit down and shut up”.

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Bashir Lazhar at Tarragon

by Alex Rayment

Raoul Bhaneja as Bashir Lazhar
Raoul Bhaneja as Bashir Lazhar

So I got to say – I love one man shows. It’s so blatantly obvious that this individual is going to talk to themselves for a hour and a half that there is no pretense otherwise which allows the audience to accept it quickly, move on and get wrapped up in the character. Bashir Lazhar by Tarragon Theatre is definately that kind of one man show.

After the first two minutes I had stopped caring about the props and lights and sound booth behind me and was completely involved in this tragic character in front of me. The half awkward, half pathetic, fully eager Mr. Lazhar (played by Raoul Bhaneja) has a strange way of making you respect him and feel sorry for him all in the same breath. He reminded me of Ol’ Gil Gunderson as an immigrant substitute teacher.

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Offensive Shadows – Studio 180

By Alex Rayment

So I have a confession to make. I have never seen A Midsummer Nights Dream. Theatre sacrilege, I know. You purists can send your hate mail to someone who cares. However, when I realized that Offensive Shadows being put on by Studio 180 was the sequel to said classic, I thought it would be prudent to at least read a Wikipedia synopsis on the subject.

Thank God I did, or I would’ve been bored out of my mind for the first half of this relatively short piece. I even did my research and still felt like the outsider of an inside joke.

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Harold Nights – Wednesday's at Dog Theatre Company

By Alex Rayment

Away from the Numbers

The Bad Dog Theatre company is a place of improv. Unscripted shows rule at this place, with different types on different nights. Wednesday Nights are Harold Nights – “a show featuring improvisers of all experience levels teaming up and tackling . . . improvised storylines inspired from a single audience suggestion”. So, I imagine you can tell where I’m going with this. Let me tell you about last Wednesday…

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