I confess: when the opportunity arose to review a burlesque show called Babes In Space II: The Wrath of Thong, I squeaked happily and jumped on it. I am a longtime fan of the burlesque arts, and have had the great fortune to be warmly acquainted with a number of first-class practitioners of the craft. Because of this, admittedly, my standards of burlesque performance are pretty high. Even still, the revue cast of Wrath of Thong left me cheering and shouting for more.
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Morning Glory is a show written out of the truth. It documents, dramatizes, and details the experiences of Karin Bolette Sonne, in prison and in a center for women with what are referred to in the program as “mental health issues.” It feels facile and unfair to try to review a show that’s so obviously not meant to be entertaining in the typical sense. Morning Glory is much closer to an Augusto Boal-style, Theatre of the Oppressed series of performances, created to bring hidden injustice to light through the art form of theatre. It utterly succeeds.
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A safeword, a concept popular among people who enjoy erotic roleplay or dominance and submission games, is a word that – when uttered – stops all the action immediately so everyone can regroup. Conversely, it frees the participants to use words like “no” and “stop”, in their roles, without fear that their partners will actually stop.
THE SAFE WORD, the SummerWorks play presented by The Forthcoming Collective, touches briefly on this concept but honestly, there were several times during the play I would have used a safeword if I thought it would make the production stop and regroup. The play wasn’t awful – in fact, it had some transcendent moments – but it seemed at intervals to have forgotten itself, or simply lost its way.
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We’ve certainly all heard things about the G20. If you’re a bit of a news junkie like me, you’ve read numerous accounts of the weekend. But I can pretty well guarantee you’ve never heard it as well told as Tommy Taylor’s You Should Have Stayed Home, which has more than lived up to its pre-SummerWorks hype.
Continue reading You Should Have Stayed Home (Praxis Theatre/The Original Norwegian) 2011 SummerWorks Review →
One of the reasons I have always loved SummerWorks is for its willingness to schedule work that breaks boundaries, mixes forms, or ignores certain conventions in favour of possibility. Brothers, a melded dance and theatre piece with a side-order of cooking show, is precisely this kind of work. After leaving Factory Theatre, I remarked that it had been 40 utterly gorgeous minutes of dance and movement. Fortunately or unfortunately, however, Brothers is a 75-minute theatre piece.
Continue reading Brothers (James McKee) 2011 SummerWorks review →