RENT – it's a play, it's a movie, it's play, it's a movie, it's a play, it's… oh, my head just exploded…

by Megan Mooney

When I was in university RENT was hot shit.  I mean, some people loved it, some people hated it, but it was actually talked about.

Then it was mostly forgotten (at least by me) until 2004 when it was parodied in Team America: World Police with the musical number “Everybody has AIDS”.  Then, perhaps riding the wave of new recognition through Team America (although, really likely not) it was made into a movie, in 2005, which seems all the rage this decade (Chicago, Hairspray, Mamma Mia pop to mind.  Evita was a bit ahead of the curve, doing the mega-musical as a movie thing in 1996).

During this whole time, RENT continued to run on Broadway, in fact, it’s been running on Broadway for more than 12 years.  So, you know, it’s pretty popular.  But now, the play, cum movie is a play again, but in a movie theatre.

Continue reading RENT – it's a play, it's a movie, it's play, it's a movie, it's a play, it's… oh, my head just exploded…

The Arts in Canada

There is a great article in today’s Globe and Mail by Russel Smith called “Extra! Extra!  The arts don’t matter!”

He talks about the recent arts cuts, how they likely won’t become an election issue, although they should, and generally laments Canada’s lack of support of the arts.

An excerpt:

Most people are simply unaware of the importance of culture in diplomacy and for international reputation – unaware that it might perhaps be a problem if Canada is simply not on the radar of powerful people in Berlin and Tokyo and Dubai, and that culture is a powerful symbol of a nation’s identity.

These things are difficult to explain and even harder to measure.

I recommend checking it out.

Toronto's CanStage – what's up with that?!?

by Megan Mooney

Okay, so, J. Kelly called me out.  He’s noted that I haven’t gone on the record with what I think of the whole CanStage thing.  So, this post is LONG overdue (I’ve been on vacation, yay summer!) I’m gonna do general thoughts first, then I’m going to answer the specific questions J. Kelly asks in his first CanStage post in this series of posts.

Before I say anything though, let me tell you that with all my heart, I hope CanStage succeeds.  I’m not sure what the definition of success is in a general sense, but for the short-term I’m going with ‘not collapsing under their own weight, and still being able to put on shows’, because, I’ll be honest, I am really afraid the writing is on the wall for CanStage (or Canadian Stage Company, whichever they’re calling themselves these days) but I’m praying to random deities that it is not the case.  Watching a theatre die is always heartbreaking.

Continue reading Toronto's CanStage – what's up with that?!?

so much to say, so little time

Okay, so, you may have noticed that I’m falling behind here…

I have much to write about, many things floating around in my head, but due to some random things in my life I haven’t been able to do it (I’d tell you all about them, but really, they’re pretty boring for anyone but me…)

So, what have I been neglecting?

  • The longer more detailed writing about my thoughts on the Summerworks shows I’ve seen, all of which I liked, some of which I LOVED (Dust and The Pastor Phelps Project leap to mind for the latter category).
  • A write up of Avenue Q (again, I liked it, you can read my blogTO review here), well, the additional stuff that I didn’t put in the blogTO article at least.
  • Answering a couple ‘theatre questions’ I’ve been asked recently

I am sure I’ve been neglecting lots and lots and lots of other stuff too, but those are the key points.

I figure maybe, just maybe, if I write it down here in the pixeled word then I’ll actually get my ass in gear and write those things up.

Fingers crossed…  *grin*

Questions about CanStage posed by J Kelly Nestruck

J Kelly Nestruck has posed some good pointed questions about what should happen with the Canadian Stage Company (including whether or not it should go back to ‘CanStage’, to which I have to say, yes please…)

This is one of those subjects that ebbs and flows in terms of interest for me.  Sometimes I get all impassioned and crazy about CanStage and their role and why they’re dying and on and on, and other times I just feel kind of, I don’t know, meh.

But, like so many others, I do have to say that the lack of Canadian works in the upcoming season does cause me a fair bit of dismay.

But back to the questions at Nestruck on Theatre.  Even if you don’t have an opinion about all of them, I recommend you check out the post, and the answers so far.  It’s provides some good food for thought.

As for whether CanStage (or, whatever they decide to call themselves) can pull themselves out of the ashes, only time will tell.